Evaluation of Critical Care Pharmacist Evening Services at an Academic Medical Center

Hosp Pharm. 2024 Apr;59(2):228-233. doi: 10.1177/00185787231207996. Epub 2023 Nov 1.


Purpose: Critical care pharmacists are considered essential members of the healthcare team; however, justification and recruitment of new positions, especially in the evening or weekend shifts, remains a significant challenge. The purpose of this study was to investigate the number of interventions, type of interventions, and associated cost savings with the addition of 1 board certified critical care clinical pharmacist to evening shift. Methods: This was a prospective collection and characterization of 1 evening shift critical care pharmacist's clinical interventions over a 12-week period. Interventions were collected and categorized daily from 13:00 to 22:00 Monday through Friday. After collection was complete, cost savings estimates were calculated using pharmacy wholesaler acquisition cost. Results: Interventions were collected on 52 of 60 weekdays. A total of 510 interventions were collected with an average of 9.8 interventions accepted per day. The most common interventions included transitions of care, medication dose adjustment, and antibiotic de-escalation and the highest proportion of interventions occurred in the medical intensive care unit. An estimated associated cost avoidance of $66 537.80 was calculated for an average of $1279.57 saved per day. Additionally, 22 (4.1%) of interventions were considered high yield interventions upon independent review by 2 pharmacists. Conclusion: The addition of 1 board-certified critical care pharmacist to evening shift resulted in multiple interventions across several categories and a significant cost avoidance when calculated using conservative measures.

Keywords: critical care; medication safety; pharmacy; practice models; quality improvement.