Evaluation of Pharmacist Impact on Culture Review Process for Patients Discharged From the Emergency Department

Hosp Pharm. 2016 Oct;51(9):738-743. doi: 10.1310/hpj5109-738.


Background: Accurate and timely review of microbiological test results is a core component of antimicrobial stewardship. There is documented success of these programs in the inpatient setting; however, emergency department (ED) patients are typically not included in these initiatives. Objectives: To assess the impact of an emergency medicine pharmacist (EMP)-facilitated review process of positive microbiological test results from patients discharged from the ED as measured by time to positive result review and number of indicated interventions completed. Methods: This was a retrospective study that compared EMP-facilitated to ED charge nurse (CN)-facilitated physician review of randomly selected positive microbiological test results. Groups were compared concurrently within the time frame of July 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. Results: One hundred seventy-eight positive microbiological test results were included (EMP, n = 91; CN, n = 87). The median (IQR) time to initial review was 3 (1.0-6.3) hours for the EMP and 2 (0.3-5.5) hours for the CN group (p = .35). Four percent (1/25) of indicated interventions were not completed in the EMP group versus 47% (14/30) in the CN group (p = .0004). Conclusion: An EMP was significantly less likely to miss an intervention when indicated with no difference in time to review of positive microbiological results. These findings support the role of the EMP in antimicrobial stewardship in the ED.

Keywords: antimicrobial stewardship; clinical pharmacist; culture; emergency department; intervention.