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Impact of clinical pharmacist engagement in ward teams on the number of drug-related readmissions among older patients with dementia or cognitive impairment: An economic evaluation

Sjlander, M;Lindholm, L;Pfister, B;Jonsson, J;Schneede, J;Lvheim, H;Gustafsson, M;

Clinical pharmacists play an increasing role in the pharmacological treatment of hospital-admitted older patients with dementia or cognitive impairment. In an earlier randomised controlled trial, clinical pharmacist involvement in the ward team could significantly reduce drug-related readmissions in patient subgroups. However, the economic impact of the intervention has not been addressed so far. To evaluate the economic impact of clinical pharmacist engagement in hospital ward teams for medication therapy management in older patients with dementia or cognitive impairments. Economic evaluation of a randomised controlled trial conducted in two hospitals in Northern Sweden between January 2012 and December 2014. Participants included 460 hospital-admitted older patients with dementia or cognitive impairments. Patients were randomly assigned to usual care, or usual care with pharmacist intervention; the intervention consisted of medication reconciliation, medication review, and participation in ward rounds. The outcomes were measured as drug-related readmissions to hospital as assessed by a group of external experts, 180 and 30 days after discharge. Costs included pharmacists’ direct labour costs for the interventions, average costs for drug-related readmissions, and from this the total cost per person was calculated. The effect of the intervention on drug-related readmissions within 180 days was significant in patients without heart failure (subgroup analysis), and the intervention resulted in cost savings of 950 per person in this subgroup. Drug-related readmissions within 30 days were reduced in the total sample (post-hoc analysis), and the cost-savings in this intervention group were 460 per person. Post-hoc and subgroup analyses indicate that engagement of pharmacists in hospital ward teams reduced the number of drug-related readmissions, and that the cost per person was lower in the intervention group compared to the control group. Including clinical pharmacists created savings in the subgroups of older patients with dementia or cognitive impairments. Copyright 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.