Carmil Azran, Almog Eliyahu Dahan, Orly Shimoni, Dror Dicker, Ariel Hammerman, Arik Dahan

Can Consultation by a Clinical Pharmacist Prevent Morbidity and Mortality in Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery?

  • General Medicine

The purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of clinical pharmacist consultation on the long-term morbidity and mortality outcomes among patients undergoing bariatric surgery. In this retrospective cohort study, 165 bariatric patients at Herzliya Medical Center who were identified as complex cases and were consulted by a clinical pharmacist (2013–2019) were compared with a wider group of bariatric patients with chronic diseases who were recorded in the Israeli General Bariatric Registry during the same years. The primary outcomes were rates of surgical complications, re-hospitalizations, and death up to one year after surgery. The secondary outcome was the rate of re-hospitalizations in different time periods. The twelve (12)-month rate of re-hospitalization in the intervention group was 10.9% vs. 19.5% in the comparison group (p = 0.005); the rate of documented postoperative complications was 2.7% vs. 3.9% (p = 0.462), and mortality was null vs. 0.16%, respectively. As for the secondary outcomes, the rates of re-hospitalizations in the periods of 0–30, 31–90, 91–180, and 181–365 days after surgery were 1.8% vs. 5.3% (p = 0.046), 2.4% vs. 4.1% (p = 0.278), 3.6% vs. 4.8% (p = 0.476), and 7.3% vs. 9.9% (p = 0.256) in the intervention vs. comparison cohorts, respectively. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the importance and benefit of referring to a specialized clinical pharmacist around bariatric surgery for improving patient safety, especially in complex patients. This is the first study to look at the long-term effects of clinical pharmacist consultation on re-hospitalization and mortality among bariatric patients, and our encouraging outcomes should hopefully stimulate more studies to show the invaluable role of specialized clinical pharmacists.

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