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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1997 Jul 15;54(14):1591-5.

Pharmacist influence on economic and morbidity outcomes in a tertiary care teaching hospital.

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Clinical Economics Research Unit, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.


The influence of pharmacist participation on economic and morbidity outcomes at a tertiary care teaching hospital was studied. Patients admitted to internal medicine wards during a nine-month period were assigned to either a treatment team or a control team. Each team consisted of an attending physician, senior and junior medical residents, and medical students; the treatment team included a pharmacist who reviewed all patient charts, made rounds with the team, and recommended modifications of drug therapy. Pharmacy interaction with the control team was limited to contacting physicians about potentially dangerous orders, answering questions from the medical team, and handling orders for items not on the formulary or otherwise unavailable. After discharge, data from patient records were analyzed for pharmacy costs and total hospital costs and length of stay (as markers of the pharmacist's effect on economics and morbidity, respectively). Analysis of baseline characteristics showed that the two groups of patients were statistically comparable. Treatment team patients who were included in the data analysis (414) had significantly shorter stays (by a mean of 1.3 days) and lower pharmacy and total hospital costs (by a mean of $301 and $1654, respectively) than those included in the control team analysis (453). The direct participation of a pharmacist on a patient care team significantly decreased pharmacy and hospital costs, as well as length of stay, compared with minimal participation of a pharmacist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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