Purpose. The impact of remote pharmacist review of medication orders in three small community hospitals in California was evaluated. Methods. A longitudinal study was conducted in three community hospitals without 24-hour pharmacy services before and after the implementation of telepharmacy services. Override reports from automated dispensing cabinets were reviewed. Charts were reviewed for errors and potential adverse drug events. Pharmacist interventions during times when the pharmacy was closed were evaluated. Cost estimates were based on a proprietary intervention tracking program. Surveys were administered to staff nurses and pharmacists to assess concerns about medication-use safety and job satisfaction. Results. The number of times that nurses obtained and administered medications without pharmacist review declined by 35.3% after implementation of the telepharmacy service. There was a significant reduction in the percentage of high-risk medications obtained without a pharmacist review. Three potential adverse drug events were discovered before implementing remote order review versus none in the postimplementation period. The number of pharmacist interventions increased from 15 to 98 per week after implementing remote order review by pharmacists. Estimated cost savings resulting from preventing, identifying, and resolving medication-related problems were $261,109 per hospital in total cost saved or avoided. Nurses' survey scores reflected increased comfort with the medication-use system, patient safety, and job satisfaction. Conclusion. Remote review of medication orders by pharmacists when the hospital pharmacy was closed decreased the number of potential adverse drug events reported and improved job satisfaction among nurses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy