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A study of time saved by emergency medicine physicians through working with clinical pharmacists in the emergency department

Published:December 17, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2018.12.028

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To describe quantitatively the impact on physician efficiency when an Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist (EMCP) is available to Emergency Department (ED) physicians while working under a collaborative care agreement in a Michigan-based Health System.

      Methods

      Four EMCPs each logged and categorized their time during 14 ten hour shifts, for a total of 56 shifts or 560 total hours worked. There were nine categories observed including: culture call back, urine, blood, or other culture follow up, antibiotic changes, patient call-backs, pharmacy call backs, critically ill, and general questions.

      Results

      EMCPs saved ED physicians an average of 75 min per shift, with the highest yield categories being general questions (25.2 min per shift (mps), standard error (SE) = 2.67), critically ill patient service (11.5 mps, SE = 2.66), and urine culture follow-ups (11.3 mps, SE = 1.05).

      Conclusions

      EMCPs in the ED save physicians a significant amount of time per shift, and categorically the most time saved was in fielding general questions, time spent with critically ill patients, and following up on urine cultures. The time saved by physicians could translate into more patients seen per shift.

      Keywords

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