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BACKGROUND - Coordinating efforts across disciplines in the intensive care unit is a key component of quality improvement (QI) efforts. Spontaneous awakening trials (SATs) and spontaneous breathing trials (SBTs) are considered key components of guidelines, yet unfortunately are often not done or coordinated properly.
OBJECTIVE - To determine if a pharmacist-driven awakening and breathing coordination (ABC) QI program would improve compliance (ie, process measures) as compared with the previous protocol, which did not involve pharmacists.
METHODS - The QI program included pharmacist-led education, daily discussion on rounds, and weekly performance reports to staff. Using a pre-QI versus during-QI versus post-QI intervention design, we compared data from 500 control ventilator-days (pre-QI period) versus 580 prospective ventilator-days (during-QI period). We then evaluated the sustainability of the QI program in 216 ventilator-days in the post-QI period.
RESULTS - SAT safety screens were performed on only 20% pre-QI patient-days versus 97% of during-QI patient-days (P < 0.001) and 100% of post-QI patient-days (P = 0.25). The rates of passing the SAT safety screen in pre-QI and during-QI periods were 63% versus 78% (P = 0.03) and 81% in the post-QI period (P = 0.86). The rates of SATs among eligible patients on continuous infusions were only 53% in the pre-QI versus 85% in the during-QI (P = 0.0001) and 87% in the post-QI (P = 1) periods.
CONCLUSIONS - In this QI initiative, a pharmacist-driven, interdisciplinary ABC protocol significantly improved process measures compliance, comparing the pre-QI versus during-QI rates of screening, performing, and coordinating SAT and SBTs, and these results were sustained in the 8-month follow-up period post-QI program.
© The Author(s) 2015.
OBJECTIVE - To assess the state of readiness for the adoption of paperless labeling among a nationally representative sample of pharmacies, including chain pharmacies, independent retail pharmacies, hospitals, and other rural or urban dispensing sites.
METHODS - Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to analyze responses to a cross-sectional survey disseminated to American Pharmacists Association pharmacists nationwide. The survey assessed factors related to pharmacists' attitudinal readiness (ie, perceptions of impact) and pharmacies' structural readiness (eg, availability of electronic resources, internet access) for the paperless labeling initiative.
RESULTS - We received a total of 436 survey responses (6% response rate) from pharmacists representing 44 US states and territories. Across the spectrum of settings we studied, pharmacists had work access to computers, printers, fax machines and access to the internet or intranet. Approximately 79% of respondents believed that the initiative would improve the adequacy of drug information available in their work site and 95% believed it would either not change (33%) or would improve (62%) communication to patients. Overall, respondents' comments supported advancing the initiative; however, some comments revealed reservations regarding corporate or pharmacy buy-in, success of implementation, and ease of adoption.
CONCLUSIONS - This is the first nationwide study to report about pharmacists' perspectives on paperless labeling. In general, pharmacists believe they are ready and that their pharmacies are well equipped for the transition to paperless labeling. Further exploration of perspectives from product label manufacturers and corporate pharmacy offices is needed to understand fully what will be necessary to complete this transition.
PURPOSE - This study examined the role of literacy in patients with poorly controlled diabetes who were participating in a diabetes management program that included low-literacy-oriented interventions.
METHODS - A before-after analysis was performed of a pharmacist-led diabetes management program for 159 patients with type 2 diabetes and poor glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c [A1C] > or = 8.0%). Clinic-based pharmacists offered one-to-one education and medication management for these patients using techniques that did not require high literacy. Literacy was measured by the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) test and dichotomized at the 6th-grade level. The A1C values were collected prior to enrollment, at enrollment, and approximately 6 months after enrollment.
RESULTS - Of the 111 patients with follow-up data, 55% had literacy levels at the 6th-grade level or below. Lower literacy was more common among African Americans, older patients, and patients who required medication assistance. There was no significant relationship between literacy status and A1C prior to enrollment or at enrollment. Over the 6-month study period, patients with low and high literacy had similar improvements in A1C.
CONCLUSIONS - This diabetes care program, which used individualized teaching with low-literacy techniques, significantly improved A1C values independent of literacy status.
We developed and evaluated a comprehensive pharmacist-led, primary care-based diabetes disease management program for patients with Type 2 diabetes and poor glucose control at our academic general internal medicine practice. The primary goal of this program was to improve glucose control, as measured by hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Clinic-based pharmacists offered support to patients with diabetes through direct teaching about diabetes, frequent phone follow-up, medication algorithms, and use of a database that tracked patient outcomes and actively identified opportunities to improve care. From September 1999, to May 2000, 159 subjects were enrolled, and complete follow-up data were available for 138 (87%) patients. Baseline HbA1c averaged 10.8%, and after an average of 6 months of intervention, the mean reduction in HbA1c was 1.9 percentage points (95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.3). In predictive regression modeling, baseline HbA1c and new onset diabetes were associated with significant improvements in HbA1c. Age, race, gender, educational level, and provider status were not significant predictors of improvement. In conclusion, a pharmacist-based diabetes care program integrated into primary care practice significantly reduced HbA1c among patients with diabetes and poor glucose control.