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Grill, Eva; Weber, Alexandra; Lohmann, Stefanie; Vetter-Kerkhoff, Cornelia; Strobl, Ralf and Jauch, Karl-Walter (2011): Effects of pharmaceutical counselling on antimicrobial use in surgical wards: intervention study with historical control group. In: Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, Vol. 20, No. 7: pp. 739-746

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PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to assess the impact of pharmaceutical consulting on the quality of antimicrobial use in a surgical hospital department in a prospective controlled intervention study. METHODS: Patients receiving pharmaceutical intervention (intervention group, IG, n = 317) were compared with a historical control group (control group, CG, n = 321). During the control period, antimicrobial use was monitored without intervention. During the subsequent intervention period, a clinical pharmacist reviewed the prescriptions and gave advice on medication. RESULTS: Intervention reduced the length of antimicrobial courses (IG = 10 days, CG = 11 days, incidence rate ratio for i.v. versus o.p. = 0.88, 95 confidence interval 0.84 to 0.93) and shortened i.v. administration (IG = 8 days, CG = 10 days, hazard rate = 1.76 in favour of switch from i.v. to p.o., 95 confidence interval 1.23 to 2.52). Intervention also helped to avoid useless combination therapy and reduced total costs for antimicrobials. CONCLUSIONS: A clinical pharmacist who reviews prescriptions can promote an increase in efficiency, for example, by shortening the course of treatment. Counselling by ward-based clinical pharmacists was shown to be effective to streamline antimicrobial therapy in surgical units and to increase drug safety.

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