Impact of Clinical Pharmacist on Drug Therapy in Medical Departments
Ariel Hamerman, Rimona Rotem, Naftali Meidan, Avi Porath
Pharmacy Services, Hospital Management and Medical Dept. F, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheba
Several studies have documented the impact of clinical pharmacy services on patient care and drug costs in hospital wards. However most hospitals in Israel do not provide such services and until recently their benefits in local health care have not been demonstrated. We therefor determined whether the activity of a pharmacist in the medical department of a medical center leads to improved quality of drug utilization and reduced costs.
During the first 3 months of the clinical pharmacist's work all interventions and consultation were documented. The effect of these interventions on drug costs was calculated by the change in drug acquisition costs during the study period compared with those of preceding months, as well as in the other 5 medical departments of the hospital without clinical pharmacy services.
During the study period the pharmacist joined 44 clinical rounds in which he documented 40 consultations in response to physicians' requests for drug information and 42 interventions on his own initiative. The pharmacist's recommendations were accepted in 38 of the 42 cases (90%). In 10 cases the pharmacist's initiative in improving the quality of drug therapy led to an increase in drug acquisition costs. However, the overall drug costs during the study period decreased 12.6%. During the same period drug costs in the other medical departments decreased only 2.2%.
The results of this study conform with those of many other studies that show a beneficial impact of the clinical pharmacist on the quality of drug therapy and on drug costs. They indicate that the clinical pharmacist can play a crucial role in the medical department.