Impact of a Standardized, Pharmacist-Initiated "Test-Claim" Workflow for Anticipating Barriers to Accessing Discharge Antimicrobials

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The Journal of pharmacy technology


Background: Inability to access and afford discharge oral antimicrobials may delay discharges or result in therapeutic failure. "Test-claims" have the potential to identify such barriers.

Objective: This study evaluated discharge antimicrobial access and patient outcomes after implementation of a standardized, inpatient pharmacist-initiated antimicrobial discharge medication cost inquiry (aDMCI) process.

Methods: This was an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved, pilot retrospective cohort study that included adults admitted for ≥72 hours from November 1, 2018, to February 28, 2019, and discharged on oral antimicrobials. Patients with a cost inquiry (aDMCI group) were compared with those without (standard-of-care, SOC, group). Primary endpoint was discharge delay. Secondary endpoints included percentage of patients discharged on suboptimal antimicrobials and medication errors from aDMCI.

Results: 84 patients were included: 43 in SOC and 41 in aDMCI. Seventy-five antimicrobial cost inquiries were evaluated among 41 patients. There were no discharge delays or medication errors associated with the standardized "test-claim" (aDMCI) workflow. Patients in the SOC group had a greater Charlson Comorbidity Index (4 [2-6] vs 2 [1-4], P =0.004), were more likely to be immunosuppressed (24, 56% vs 12, 29%; P =0.014), and had longer hospitalization (8 [5-15] vs 6 [5-9] days, P =0.026). Primary access barriers were prior-authorization (8, 11%) and associated with linezolid and moxifloxacin cost inquiries. Most aDMCIs results were available in <24 hours (66, 88%).

Conclusions: The aDMCI process is safe and offers an actionable transition of care tool that can identify barriers to accessing discharge medications while insulating patients from surprise out-of-pocket cost.

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