Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the impact of pharmaceutical consulting on the quality of antimicrobial use in a surgical hospital department in a prospective controlled intervention study.
Methods: Patients receiving pharmaceutical intervention (intervention group, IG, n = 317) were compared with a historical control group (control group, CG, n = 321). During the control period, antimicrobial use was monitored without intervention. During the subsequent intervention period, a clinical pharmacist reviewed the prescriptions and gave advice on medication.
Results: Intervention reduced the length of antimicrobial courses (IG = 10 days, CG = 11 days, incidence rate ratio for i.v. versus o.p. = 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.84 to 0.93) and shortened i.v. administration (IG = 8 days, CG = 10 days, hazard rate = 1.76 in favour of switch from i.v. to p.o., 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 2.52). Intervention also helped to avoid useless combination therapy and reduced total costs for antimicrobials.
Conclusions: A clinical pharmacist who reviews prescriptions can promote an increase in efficiency, for example, by shortening the course of treatment. Counselling by ward-based clinical pharmacists was shown to be effective to streamline antimicrobial therapy in surgical units and to increase drug safety.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.