A Prospective Study of the Impact of a Critical Care Pharmacist Assigned as a Member of the Multidisciplinary Burn Care Team

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Abstract

A critical care clinical pharmacy specialist was assigned to the burn center to make scheduled rounds with the physicians and to attend the weekly multidisciplinary burn team rounds. A prospective 6-month study was completed to 1) determine the clinical impact of the pharmacist's interventions and 2) quantify cost savings generated by these interventions. Prospective data concerning clinical interventions by the pharmacist were collected during a 6-month period. Each intervention was independently reviewed by two attending burn surgeons to determine its importance. A total of 165 interventions in 76 patients were documented. Following an independent review of each intervention by burn surgery attendings, 121 of 165 interventions were felt to have improved overall patient care, 42 of 165 prevented possible drug-related toxicity or organ dysfunction, 1 of 165 prevented a possible life-threatening event, and only 1 of 165 was considered insignificant. Drug changes suggested by the pharmacist resulted in a savings of $11,081.14 for the 6-month period. The integration of the critical care pharmacist into clinical rounds results in significant cost avoidance and improves overall patient care.

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