Guidelines by the AAP for the use of palivizumab prophylaxis for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) recommend administration within 72 hours prior to discharge for selected high-risk patient populations. Our institution historically administered palivizumab on a fixed-day schedule of Mondays and Thursdays, but adjusted the practice in fall 2017 to a pharmacist-driven flex-schedule based on anticipated discharge date. This review evaluated the effect of pharmacist-driven palivizumab ordering on the appropriateness of palivizumab administrations, based on AAP and institutional recommendations. Additionally, this review evaluated for effects on institutional cost.
This was a retrospective single-center evaluation including patients for whom palivizumab was ordered between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. Patients in the 2016–2017 RSV season were in the fixed-day group, while patients in the 2017–2018 RSV season were in the flex-schedule group.
A total of 142 palivizumab doses were evaluated. Overall, 97% of administrations were for an appropriate indication. All doses administered inappropriately (n = 4) occurred in the fixed-day group. In the fixed-day group, 48.6% of doses were given within 72 hours prior to discharge, which increased to 70.1% in the flex-schedule group (p = 0.01). The amount of drug saved by batching was 1 vial for every 4.9 patients in the fixed-day group, and 1 vial for every 4.8 patients in the flex-schedule group.
There was a statistically significant improvement in compliance with AAP recommendations following the implementation of pharmacist-driven flex-schedule for palivizumab, compared to a fixed-day batching schedule. There was no significant difference in cost.