Scoping Review of Interventions Associated with Cost Avoidance Able to Be Performed in the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department

Drayton A. Hammond, Payal K. Gurnani, Alexander H. Flannery, Keaton S. Smetana, Jennifer C. Westrick, Ishaq Lat, Megan A. Rech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A framework for evaluating pharmacists’ impact on cost avoidance in the intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department (ED) has not been established. This scoping review was registered (CRD42018091217) and conducted to identify, aggregate, and qualitatively describe the highest quality evidence for cost avoidance generated by clinical pharmacists on interventions performed in an ICU or ED. Searches were conducted in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from inception until April 2018. The level of evidence (LOE) for each specific category of intervention was evaluated according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation evidence-to-decision framework. The risks of bias for articles were evaluated using Newcastle Ottawa and Cochrane Collaboration tools. The values from all interventions were inflated to 2018 U.S. dollars using the consumer price index for medical care. Of the 464 articles initially identified, 371 were excluded and 93 were included. After reviewing references from the articles included, an additional 71 articles were also reviewed. The 38 cost intervention categories were supported by varying LOEs: IA (0 categories), IB (1 category), IIA (4 categories), IIB (0 categories), III (27 categories), and IV (6 categories), and articles mostly displayed low to moderate risks of bias. Pharmacists generate cost avoidance through a variety of interventions in critically and emergently ill patients. The quality of evidence supporting specific cost avoidance values is generally low. Quantification of and factors associated with the cost avoidance generated from pharmacists caring for these patients are of paramount importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.


  • cost avoidance
  • critical care
  • emergency medicine
  • intensive care
  • pharmacist
  • pharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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