University of Florida College of Pharmacy researchers are optimistic about the potential of a new scoring system in preventing adverse drug reactions among at-risk patients.
The researchers are working closely with colleagues at UF Health to identify hospital patients at greatest risk for preventable adverse drug events.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Foundation has awarded a two-year, $499,000 grant to College of Pharmacy researcher Almut Winterstein, to lead a UF Health research team that will develop and validate a complexity score to help hospitals determine the best pharmacist staffing to prevent adverse drug events and improve patient safety.
So how does it work?
The complexity score will use “automated information” in patients’ electronic health records to produce real-time predictions of which admitted patients are at greatest risk for having an adverse drug event and therefore need medication management services.
“Adverse events in health care have received increasing attention over the past two decades because many are preventable,” says Winterstein, a professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy at the UF College of Pharmacy. “Errors surrounding the selection or dosing of medications have been described as one of the most prominent areas in health care that result in preventable adverse events.”
Per the mandates that came with health care reform, the rush to provide better quality and safer health care with lower costs is in full swing.
To meet new challenges, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or ASHP, has proposed a pharmacy practice model that emphasizes pharmacists’ key role in medication therapy management.
To place pharmacists at the bedside of those patients who need their services the most, guidance is needed, Winterstein asserts, according to an announcement from the University of Florida.