Implementation of a prioritized scoring tool to improve time to pharmacist intervention

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Abstract

Purpose

The implementation of a prioritized scoring tool to improve time to pharmacist intervention is described.

Summary

At the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, pharmacists are accepted providers of therapeutic drug monitoring of vancomycin and aminoglycosides. At the onset of this initiative and despite the implementation of an integrated electronic medical record (EMR), management of pharmacokinetically monitored medications was conducted using a paper monitoring form. The potential for transcription errors during this process provided an opportunity for improvement. For these reasons, the department of pharmacy focused its initial efforts for a patient scoring system on the pharmacokinetics scoring module. Adjustment of associated medications based on pharmacokinetic values was a core function of pharmacists of the institution and was expected to be conducted without fail. Vancomycin was used as the index surrogate pharmacokinetically monitored medication within the module for testing and validation because of the clear expectations and standardized resources available to pharmacists to complete the task. The pharmacokinetics scoring module was designed specifically for the function of dosing management, searching throughout the EMR and concisely displaying the information a pharmacist needs to make a clinical decision. Importantly, integration of the scoring module reduced the time to intervention from hours to minutes. The median time to intervention was reduced to within a clinical working shift (8 hours) with the scoring module versus 24 hours or longer with the paper monitoring system.

Conclusion

The implementation of an internally developed pharmacokinetics scoring module built into the EMR substantially reduced the time to clinical intervention for pharmacokinetic monitoring of vancomycin drug levels.

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