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Hosp Pharm. 2013 Apr;48(4):302-7. doi: 10.1310/hpj4804-302.test.

Impact of a pharmacist-driven protocol to improve drug allergy documentation at a university hospital.

Author information

1
Clinical Fellow.
2
Professor of Clinical Pharmacy.
3
Health Sciences Clinical Professor ; Clinical Pharmacist, UCSF Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, School of Pharmacy.
4
Professor of Clinical Pharmacy ; Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco, School of Pharmacy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An internal evaluation of the inpatient pharmacy order entry database (WORx) at a university hospital revealed that the nature of the reaction was documented for only 47% of patients with reported drug allergies/intolerance. Insufficient documentation of drug allergy/intolerance may result in administration of drugs that should not be prescribed. Similarly, valuable agents that should be used may not be prescribed due to an unnecessary fear of adverse drug reaction. More complete description of drug allergy/intolerance may result in more correct prescribing of medications.

OBJECTIVE:

Evaluate the impact of a pharmacist-driven protocol on the quality of drug allergy/intolerance documentation.

METHODS:

Four pre-intervention evaluations were conducted every 2 weeks documenting the completeness of drug allergy/intolerance information in the pharmacy order entry database. One week following the implementation of a pharmacist-driven protocol intended to improve the completeness of drug allergy/intolerance information, a series of 4 postintervention evaluations was repeated. Proportional analysis of pre- and postinterventional data was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.

RESULTS:

A total of 1,686 allergies from 2,174 patients were reviewed pre and post intervention. The frequency of complete drug allergy/intolerance documentation pre intervention was 52% to 62%. Following implementation of the hospitalwide, pharmacist-driven protocol, this rate increased to 60% to 76%. Pediatric services demonstrated the most substantial improvement, increasing from 53% to 79% to 67% to 93%. Blank reaction fields decreased by 10% in both age groups.

CONCLUSION:

A pharmacy-driven initiative intended to improve the completeness of drug allergy/intolerance documentation was associated with modest success. Other mechanisms, including electronic health record systems with computerized physician order entry and decision support, are needed to improve the completeness of drug allergy/intolerance information.

KEYWORDS:

allergy documentation; continuous quality improvement; pharmacist-driven intervention; pharmacy practice model initiative

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