Role of student pharmacists in the identification and prevention of medication-related problems

  • Abdelhalim D
  • Mohundro B
  • Evans J
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Objectives: To measure the total rate of attending physician, medical resident, and medical student acceptance of interventions recommended by third-year student pharmacists supervised by a licensed pharmacist and to determine the type of health care provider group that accepted the most interventions, type of interventions provided, and number of patients counseled on medication use. Methods: This prospective unblinded pilot study followed single interventions documented by nine third-year student pharmacists enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy. Success rates of suggested interventions made to family medicine attending physicians, pharmacists, medical residents, and medical students in three Louisiana outpatient clinics were documented. Student pharmacists performed medication histories, identified potential medication-related problems, discussed interventions with health care providers, and counseled patients on medication use. Outcomes assessed were intervention type and number, intervention acceptance rate, and number of patients counseled. Results: Student pharmacists communicated with attending physicians, medical residents, and/or medical students regarding 32 patients. A total of 48 interventions were documented. Of these interventions, 34 were potential medication-related problems, 8 were pharmacotherapeutic recommendations for a new problem, 4 were responses to a health care provider's drug information requests, and 2 were referrals to a diabetes education class. The acceptance rate of student pharmacists' recommendations was 86%. Attending physicians accepted 93.8% of recommended interventions, medical residents 70%, and medical students 87.5%, Student pharmacists counseled 29 patients on medication use. Conclusion: Student pharmacists were able to recommend new drug regimens and discuss changes in therapy with health care providers. Attending physicians, medical residents, and medical students accepted the majority of students' recommendations. Third-year student pharmacists have the potential to serve an important role in the identification and prevention of medication-related problems by suggesting interventions to health care providers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Interventions
  • Medication-related problems
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Student pharmacists

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  • Dalia Abdelhalim

  • Brice Labruzzo Mohundro

  • Jeffery D. Evans

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