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Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Mar;44(3):432-8. doi: 10.1345/aph.1M576. Epub 2010 Feb 17.

Evaluation of the impact of a tele-ICU pharmacist on the management of sedation in critically ill mechanically ventilated patients.

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  • 1UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. AForni@partners.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An organized and uniform approach to managing sedation in critically ill patients has been associated with improved outcomes, but the most effective means of optimizing sedative medication use in clinical practice has not been fully determined. Pharmacist interventions directed at improving sedation guideline compliance have been shown to reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the impact that pharmacy staffing configurations that include a tele-ICU pharmacist have on compliance with an intensive care unit (ICU) sedation guideline in critically ill mechanically ventilated patients requiring continuous-infusion sedative medications.

METHODS:

Compliance with an established ICU sedation guideline, the performance of daily sedative interruptions, and the number of sedative medication-related interventions were evaluated before and after expansion of the ICU pharmacist staffing model to include comprehensive off-hours pharmacist coverage supported with established tele-ICU resources. In both groups, sedation was managed by the primary ICU team. In the intervention group, a pharmacist working in the tele-ICU center performed electronic record audits and made sedative medication recommendations to the primary team.

RESULTS:

The addition of third shift tele-ICU pharmacist support was associated with a significant increase in the percentage of patients who received a daily sedative interruption (45% vs 54%; p < 0.0001). This occurred in the context of significant increases in the total number of ICU pharmacist interventions (36 vs 49.4 per 100 patient days, p < 0.0001), the number of therapeutic interventions (20.4 vs 26.1 per 100 patient days, p < 0.001), and the number of sedative-related interventions (0.9 vs 4.4 per 100 patient days, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Tele-ICU resources can be utilized to increase compliance with an established ICU sedation guideline and extend the benefits that daytime ICU clinical pharmacy services provide. Increased ICU pharmacist availability may have additional benefits not measured in this study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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