Real-Time Risk Tool for Pharmacy Interventions

Hanh L. Nguyen, Kristin S. Alvarez, Boryana Manz, Arun Nethi, Varun Sharma, Venkatraghavan Sundaram, Manjula Julka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adverse drug events (ADEs) result in excess hospitalizations. Thorough admission medication histories (AMHs) may prevent ADEs; however, the resources required oftentimes outweigh what is available in large hospital settings. Previous risk prediction models embedded into the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) have been used at hospitals to aid in targeting delivery of scarce resources. Objective: To determine if an AMH scoring tool used to allocate resources can decrease 30-day hospital readmissions. Design, Setting, and Participants: Propensity-matched cohort study, Medicine/Surgery patients in large academic safety-net hospital. Intervention or Exposure: Pharmacy-conducted AMHs identified by risk model versus standard of care AMH. Main Outcomes and Measures: A total of 30-day hospital readmissions and inpatient ADE prevention. Results: The model screened 87 240 hospitalizations between June 2017 and June 2019 and 4027 patients per group were included. There were significantly less 30 day readmissions among high-risk identified patients that received a pharmacy-conducted AMH compared to controls (11% vs 15%; P = 0.004) and no significant difference in readmission rates for low-risk patients. While there was significantly higher documentation of major ADE prevention in the pharmacy-led AMH group versus control (1656 vs 12; P < 0.001), there was no difference in electronically-detected inpatient ADEs between groups. Conclusions: A risk tool embedded into the EMR can be used to identify patients whom pharmacy teams can easily target for AMHs. This study showed significant reductions in readmissions for patients identified as high-risk. However, the same benefit in readmissions was not seen in those identified at low-risk, which supports allocating resources to those that will benefit the most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHospital Pharmacy
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • adverse drug reactions
  • clinical pharmacy services
  • medication safety
  • medication therapy management
  • monitoring drug therapy
  • technicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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