Pharmacy-driven penicillin allergy assessment offers multiple benefits

A prospective study indicates that pharmacy-driven allergy assessment enhanced penicillin allergy documentation and raised the use of beta-lactam antibiotics. The findings were presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.

A prospective study indicates that pharmacy-driven allergy assessment enhanced penicillin allergy documentation and raised the use of beta-lactam antibiotics. The findings were presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition. Rita Chamoun, PharmD, BCPS, clinical staff pharmacist at the Baptist Hospital of Miami, says: "The findings of this research convey the importance of thoroughly evaluating allergy documentation on electronic health records as well as collaborating with pharmacists to evaluate for prior cephalosporin use." Researchers at Baptist Hospital interviewed 63 patients to clarify their allergy history and reviewed their medication records and outpatient prescription fill history to gauge their previous tolerance of beta-lactam antibiotics. The researchers recommended treatment with a beta-lactam antibiotic to the prescriber for patients with mild-to-moderate penicillin allergy and/or treatment with a beta-lactam antibiotic and patients with prior tolerance of beta-lactam antibiotics regardless of severity. Chamoun and colleagues reported that 68% of patients were switched from a non-beta-lactam antibiotic to a beta-lactam antibiotic, with a 100% prescriber acceptance rate. Previous beta-lactam use was confirmed in 57% of patients, allergy documentation was updated in 83% of patients, and during the course of 3 months, the clinic saved an estimated $21,000.