The effect of an active on-ward participation of hospital pharmacists in Internal Medicine teams on preventable Adverse Drug Events in elderly inpatients: protocol of the WINGS study (Ward-oriented pharmacy in newly admitted geriatric seniors)

Klopotowska, J. E., Wierenga, P. C., de Rooij, S. E., Stuijt, C. C., Arisz, L., Kuks, P. F., Dijkgraaf, M. G., Lie-A-Huen, L., Smorenburg, S. M. & WINGS Study Grp, 25-May-2011, In : BMC Health Services Research. 11, 9 p., 124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Joanna E. Klopotowska
  • Peter C. Wierenga
  • Sophia E. de Rooij
  • Clementine C. Stuijt
  • Lambertus Arisz
  • Paul F. Kuks
  • Marcel G. Dijkgraaf
  • Loraine Lie-A-Huen
  • Susanne M. Smorenburg
  • WINGS Study Grp

Background: The potential of clinical interventions, aiming at reduction of preventable Adverse Drug Events (preventable ADEs) during hospital stay, have been studied extensively. Clinical Pharmacy is a well-established and effective service, usually consisting of full-time on-ward participation of clinical pharmacists in medical teams. Within the current Hospital Pharmacy organisation in the Netherlands, such on-ward service is less feasible and therefore not yet established. However, given the substantial incidence of preventable ADEs in Dutch hospitals found in recent studies, appears warranted. Therefore, "Ward-Oriented Pharmacy", an on-ward service tailored to the Dutch hospital setting, will be developed. This service will consist of multifaceted interventions implemented in the Internal Medicine wards by hospital pharmacists. The effect of this service on preventable ADEs in elderly inpatients will be measured. Elderly patients are at high risk for ADEs due to multi-morbidity, concomitant disabilities and polypharmacy. Most studies on the incidence and preventability of ADEs in elderly patients have been conducted in the outpatient setting or on admission to a hospital, and fewer in the inpatient setting. Moreover, recognition of ADEs by the treating physicians is challenging in elderly patients because their disease presentation is often atypical and complex. Detailed information about the performance of the treating physicians in ADE recognition is scarce.

Methods/Design: The design is a multi-centre, interrupted time series study. Patients of 65 years or older, consecutively admitted to Internal Medicine wards will be included. After a pre-measurement, a Ward-Oriented Pharmacy service will be introduced and the effect of this service will be assessed during a post-measurement. The primary outcome measures are the ADE prevalence on admission and ADE incidence during hospital stay. These outcomes will be assessed using structured retrospective chart review by an independent expert panel. This assessment will include determination of causality, severity and preventability of ADEs. In addition, the extent to which ADEs are recognised and managed by the treating physicians will be considered.

Discussion: The primary goal of the WINGS study is to assess whether a significant reduction in preventable ADEs in elderly inpatients can be achieved by a Ward-Oriented Pharmacy service offered. A comprehensive ADE detection method will be used based on expert opinion and retrospective, trigger-tool enhanced, chart review.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 25-May-2011
Externally publishedYes



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