Background In recent years, patient safety has become a Healthcare Systems’ priority. An expert panel has established the presence of a Hospital Pharmacist in hospital settings and their direct collaboration with nurses and doctors as a key factor in the safe use of medicines.1
Purpose We wanted to investigate the effect that this integration is having on patient safety and whether cost savings are directly related.
Material and methods A pharmacist worked full-time on the General Surgery service for two months. The pharmacist took part daily in clinical sessions, patients’ visits, drug monitoring advice, discharge information, home medicines reconciliation, among other duties. All work carried out by the pharmacist was recorded. Cost saving derived from switching treatment and non-necessary drugs stopped by the pharmacist were calculated as (cost of initial treatment × days with the new treatment) – (cost of new treatment × days of treatment).
Results 166 patients were admitted to the Surgery Service during this period. The Pharmacist made at least one treatment recommendation in 56% of these patients which ended in a treatment change or drug monitoring by doctors. 108 treatment reconciliation reports were made (65% of patients) by pharmacist-patient interview. Because of these reports, 106 drugs were added to patients’ hospital treatment, 18% were drugs that guidelines recommended not to stop at admission. The treatment was changed for 37 drugs, and 19 unnecessary drugs were stopped. Direct cost savings derived from that switching and non-necessary drugs were in total €1,372 (€686/month).
Conclusion Hospital pharmacists play an important role as part of multidisciplinary teams, improving medical care and increasing treatment safety. Direct cost savings are also related to pharmacist clinical practice.
References and/or Acknowledgements 1 Top-priority actions for preventing adverse drug events in hospitals: recommendations of an expert panel. Am J Health Syst Pharm 1996;53:747–51
No conflict of interest.
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