The impact of a pharmacist on post-take ward round prescribing and medication appropriateness

B. Bullock, P. Donovan, C. Mitchell, J. A. Whitty, I. Coombes

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Medication communication and prescribing on the post-take ward round following patient admission to hospital can be suboptimal leading to worse patient outcomes. Objective To evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacist participation on the post-take ward round on the appropriateness of medication prescribing, medication communication, and overall patient health care outcomes. Setting Tertiary referral teaching hospital, Brisbane, Australia. Method A pre-post intervention study was undertaken that compared the addition of a senior clinical pharmacist attending the post-take ward was compared to usual wardbase pharmacist service, with no pharmacist present of the post-take ward round. We assessed the proportion of patients with an improvement in medication appropriateness from admission to discharge, using the START/STOPP checklists. Medication communication was assessed by the mean number of brief and in-depth discussions, with health care outcomes measured by comparing length of stay and 28-day readmission rates. Main outcome measures: Medication appropriateness according to the START/STOPP list, number and type of discussions with team members and length of stay and readmission rate. Results Two hundred and sixty patients were recruited (130 pre- and 130-post-intervention), across 23 and 20 post-take ward rounds, respectively. Post-intervention, there was increase in the proportion of patients who had an improvement medication appropriateness (pre-intervention 25.4%, post-intervention 36.9%; p = 0.004), the number of in-depth discussions about patients’ medication (1.9 ± 1.7 per patient pre-intervention, 2.7 ± 1.7 per patient post-, p < 0.001), and the number relating to high-risk medications (0.71 ± 1.1 per patient pre-intervention, to 1.2 ± 1.2 per patient post-, p < 0.05). Length of stay and 28-day mortality were unchanged. Conclusion Clinical pharmacist participation on the post-take ward round leads to improved medication-related communication and improved medication appropriateness but did not significantly improve health care outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65–73
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Australia
  • Communication
  • Medication safety
  • Prescribing
  • Team work
  • Ward round

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