To catalog the clinical interventions (CI) made by fourth-year pharmacy students using a standardized categorization framework, describe the students’ perceived clinical importance of interventions, and estimate the cost avoidance produced by interventions.
In this descriptive study, fourth-year pharmacy students documented their CIs made during a 6-week acute care internal medicine rotation at University of Utah Hospital. Interventions were categorized by type according to a standardized system and classified as low, moderate, or high in terms of perceived clinical importance by the student. Based on a literature search, interventions were assigned a cost avoidance dollar value, and an estimated total cost avoidance generated by student interventions was calculated.
Eleven pharmacy students made a total of 126 interventions from November 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019, which produced an estimated $22,369.19 in total cost avoidance. Each student made an average of 11.5 interventions (range: 5 – 22) during their six-week rotation, or 0.44 interventions per day (range: 0.19 – 0.76) and 0.34 interventions per patient (range: 0.12 – 0.70). CIs regarding preventive therapy (19.8%), untreated condition (13.5%), and dose too low (12.7%) were the most common types of interventions recorded. The majority of CIs were of low (62.7%) or moderate (35.7%) in terms of perceived clinical importance.
Pharmacy students are valuable members of the healthcare team. They made a substantial number of CIs that represent important cost-savings for the healthcare system, but further research is needed to continue characterizing the value of pharmacy’s contribution to patient care.