URMC Emergency Department Pharmacy Resident Earns National Grant

Jul. 20, 2009

An Emergency Medicine pharmacy resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center is one of only five in the country to receive a Pharmacy Resident Practice-Based Research Grant from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Research and Education Foundation. Stephanie N. Baker, Pharm.D., was awarded $5,000 to study the impact of a pharmacist’s involvement in prescribing antibiotics to Emergency Department patients who have community-acquired infections.

Baker’s study, “Evaluation of Emergency Pharmacist Services on Antimicrobial Stewardship for Ambulatory Patients Discharged from the Emergency Department,” will review several hundred charts of former patients to assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments, both with and without a pharmacist’s involvement in the process, to determine if a pharmacist’s involvement impacts the patient’s outcome. Baker hopes her study will affirm that including a pharmacist in the process produces significant improvements in the timeliness and appropriateness of treatment and the outcomes for patients, in addition to reducing readmissions to the emergency department or hospital. Baker is working under the guidance of URMC Pharmacist Elizabeth Dodds Ashley.

“There is little to no data on how pharmacists affect outcomes in the emergency department,” Baker said. “We know that they decrease costs and adverse drug events, but more data is needed. Antibiotic use is common for patients discharged or transferred from the emergency department, but there is often limited or inconsistent follow-up of culture results to ensure that the patients were started on the appropriate therapy. While it is logical to integrate the emergency pharmacist into this process, there is no published evidence establishing the value of doing so. This study is designed to retrospectively evaluate the impact of the clinical pharmacist on appropriate antibiotic therapy for patients seen in a busy emergency department of an academic medical center.”

The Pharmacy Resident Practice-Based Research Grant program supports practice-based research in medication use conducted by residents in ASHP-accredited pharmacy residency programs and residents in pharmacy residency programs that have submitted an application for ASHP accreditation.

This is the second consecutive grant for a URMC pharmacy resident. Last year, Nicole M. Acquisto, Pharm.D., was awarded a grant to study the outcomes of emergency pharmacist participation during acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

URMC offers several American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-accredited pharmacy residency programs, in areas such as emergency medicine, critical care, and pediatrics.