Expansion of inpatient clinical pharmacy services through reallocation of pharmacists

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Abstract

Purpose.

The redesign of an inpatient pharmacy practice model through reallocation of pharmacy resources in order to expand clinical services is described.

Methods.

A pharmacy practice model change was implemented at a nonprofit academic medical center to meet the increasing demand for direct patient care services. In order to accomplish this change, the following steps were completed: reevaluation of daily tasks and responsibilities, reallocation of remaining tasks to the most appropriate pharmacy staff member, determination of the ideal number of positions needed to complete each task, and reorganization of the model into a collection of teams. Data were collected in both the preimplementation and postimplementation periods to assess the impact of the model change on operational workflow and clinical service expansion.

Results.

The mean ± S.D. times to order verification were 17 ± 52 minutes during the preimplementation period and 21 ± 70 minutes in the postimplementation period (p < 0.001). During the 3 months before and after implementation of the model change, the mean number of medication reconciliations performed increased from 114 to 144. After implementation of the model change, total interventions increased 194%. Notably, there was a 736% increase in the number of interventions focused on facilitating safe discharge.

Conclusion.

A pharmacy practice model change was successfully implemented by reallocating existing pharmacist and technician roles and increasing incorporation of pharmacy residents and students. This change led to an expansion of direct patient care coordination services without negatively affecting the operational responsibilities of the pharmacy or the need to hire additional staff.

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