Aims: To determine the cost savings of pharmacist initiated changes to hospitalized patients' drug therapy or management in eight major acute care government funded teaching hospitals in Australia.
Methods: This was a prospective study performed in eight hospitals examining resource implications of pharmacists' interventions assessed by an independent clinical panel. Pharmacists providing clinical services to inpatients recorded details of interventions, defined as any action that directly resulted in a change to patient management or therapy. An independent clinical review panel, convened at each participating centre, confirmed or rejected the clinical pharmacist's assessment of the impact on length of stay (LOS), readmission probability, medical procedures and laboratory monitoring and quantified the resultant changes, which were then costed.
Results: A total of 1399 interventions were documented. Eight hundred and thirty-five interventions impacted on drug costs alone. Five hundred and eleven interventions were evaluated by the independent panels with three quarters of these confirmed as having an impact on one or more of: length of stay, readmission probability, medical procedures or laboratory monitoring. There were 96 interventions deemed by the independent panels to have reduced LOS and 156 reduced the potential for readmission. The calculated savings was $263 221 for the eight hospitals during the period of the study. This included $150 307 for length of stay reduction, $111 848 for readmission reduction.
Conclusions: The annualized cost savings relating to length of stay, readmission, drugs, medical procedures and laboratory monitoring as a result of clinical pharmacist initiated changes to hospitalized patient management or therapy was $4 444 794 for eight major acute care government funded teaching hospitals in Australia.