Impact of medication therapy management on pharmacotherapy safety in an intensive care unit

This article by Martins and others was published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy December 2018 issue.
Background:  Drug-related problems are mostly preventable or predictable circumstances that may impact on health outcomes. Clinical pharmacy activities such as medication therapy management can identify and solve these problems, with potential to improve medication safety and effectiveness.
Objective:  To evaluate ability of medication therapy management service to detect drug-related problems and prevent adverse drug events. This study also aimed to assess the risk factors for drug related problem occurrence.
Setting:  Medical intensive care unit of a public tertiary hospital in Brazil.
Methods:  Patients were evaluated by a clinical pharmacist, who provided medication therapy management service. Detected drug-related problems were categorized according to the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe methodology and analyzed in multinomial regression to identify risk factors.
Main outcome measure:  Potential risk factors for drug-related problem occurrence.
Results:  The proposed medication therapy management service allowed detection of 170 drug-related problems that had potential to reach patients causing harm and other 50 unavoidable adverse events. Drug-related problems identified were more often associated with antibacterial use, caused by improper combinations or inadequate drug dosage. These problems required interventions that were accepted by the multidisciplinary team, resulting in more than 85% adherence and total problem solving. Main risk factors identified were previous diagnosis of kidney injury (OR = 8.38), use of midazolam (OR = 7.96), furosemide (OR = 5.87) and vancomycin (OR = 4.82).
Conclusion:  Medication therapy management proved to be an effective method not only for drug-related problem detection, but also for adverse drug event prevention, contributing to improve patient safety.
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