Effect of Pharmacy Student Interventions in a Family Medicine Ambulatory Care Setting
Regina Ginzburg, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice
Background: Students obtaining their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree undergo various experiential clerkships prior to graduation, including an ambulatory care clerkship. Pharm.D. students are directly involved in various patient care activities which include patient counseling, drug therapy evaluation, drug therapy recommendations, adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting, and providing drug information. Extensive evidence exists on the impact and cost savings of pharmacists’ interventions in patient care but little is known about the benefit of pharmacy student interventions in the outpatient setting.
Methods: We performed a prospective observational study documenting students’ clinical interventions in a family medicine clinic. An electronic database (MedKeeper) was used to track students’ interventions and assign a cost value. Our primary objective was to determine the number of interventions presented by pharmacy students and the acceptance rate of these recommendations by the healthcare providers. Secondary endpoints included examining possible cost savings and prevention of potential adverse events generated by pharmacy student interventions in an ambulatory care setting.
Results: Eighteen students underwent this experiential site in the 8 student- months studied. A total of 718 interventions were performed with 77% being accepted. Healthcare providers accepted 58% of the 200 interventions that required immediate action. Other interventions included patient counseling, answering drug information questions, and reporting adverse drug reactions. Projected cost savings was calculated at $60,855.
Conclusion: Pharmacy students play an important role in our family medicine clinic. Their interventions resulted in significant cost savings and were generally well received. Future direction is to determine reasons for intervention acceptance/rejections.