Saturday, July 13, 2024

Preoperative Pharmaceutical Care Consultation Proves Cost-Effective in Reducing Medication Errors

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In a groundbreaking study, researchers have demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of preoperative pharmaceutical care consultations in preventing medication errors among surgical patients. This innovative approach could transform preoperative care, significantly reducing the financial burden of adverse events related to medication errors.

Methodology and Findings

The retrospective study analyzed preoperative pharmacy consultations conducted between 2016 and 2020. Two part-time pharmacists reviewed patients’ chronic medication management, identifying and preventing medication errors. The errors were categorized by therapeutic group and type, with a multidisciplinary team assigning probabilities (‘p’ values) to each error’s likelihood of causing an adverse event. The costs of adverse events were estimated, and savings were calculated based on prevented errors. The study included 3105 patients and identified 1179 medication errors, preventing approximately 300 adverse events. The avoided costs ranged from €1.24 million to €2.08 million, whereas the implementation cost was €295,710, resulting in a cost-effectiveness ratio of €4.2 to €7.0 saved per euro invested.

Key Therapeutic Groups

The study found that 15 therapeutic groups accounted for 90% of the prevented medication errors. Notably, agents acting on the renin-angiotensin system, non-insulin antidiabetics, and low molecular weight heparins were responsible for 56% of the prevented adverse events. Therapeutic groups such as rapid-acting insulins and various anticoagulant agents had higher probabilities of causing adverse events, emphasizing the need to prioritize these patients for preoperative consultations.

Market access considerations are crucial here, as the study highlights the financial viability of wide-scale implementation of preoperative pharmaceutical consultations. By demonstrating substantial cost savings, the study supports the case for broader adoption in hospitals, potentially easing market entry barriers for such healthcare services.

• The study underscores the economic benefits of incorporating preoperative pharmaceutical care consultations in hospital settings.

• It identifies key therapeutic groups that should be prioritized, providing actionable insights for hospital administrations.

• The results can facilitate market access for pharmaceutical consultation services by showcasing their cost-effectiveness and patient safety benefits.

The sensitivity analysis further bolstered the findings, with cost-effectiveness ratios ranging from €3.3 to €8.5 per euro invested. This robust analysis underscores the reliability of the approach, providing compelling evidence for its adoption in different healthcare settings.

In conclusion, the implementation of preoperative pharmaceutical care consultations in hospitals has proven to be a cost-effective strategy to reduce medication errors and associated adverse events. Prioritizing patients based on the probability of medication errors causing adverse events can optimize resource allocation and enhance patient safety. This study offers a blueprint for other hospitals to adopt similar consultations, demonstrating their effectiveness in minimizing the financial and clinical impacts of medication errors.

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Original Article: Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2024 Jul 4:ejhpharm-2024-004222. doi: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2024-004222. Online ahead of print.

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