Albumin audit results and guidelines for use

B. J. Gales, B. L. Erstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify patients receiving albumin, develop guidelines for albumin use, and examine distribution and billing procedures. Design: Case series. Setting: Tertiary care center. Patients: All patients received albumin in a four-week period. Patients were identified concurrently using intensive care unit surveys and the pharmacy computer system, and retrospectively using billing statements. Data were analyzed from 73 of 79 patients (92.4 percent); 6 (7.6 percent) had no record of albumin being ordered or administered. Pediatric patient data were used only in the financial calculations. Data Collection: Demographics and albumin dosages were recorded for all patients. Prescribing service and indications for use were recorded in adults. Albumin administered was compared with the amount billed to each patient. Main Results: Sixty adult patients aged 14-91 y (median 62) received 1-69 units (median 4 units [1 unit=12.5 g albumin]) and 470 total units. Surgical services prescribed albumin in 73 percent and medical services in 27 percent of the patients. Common indications for albumin included volume expansion (65 percent), as intraoperative fluid (13 percent), and to increase urine output (10 percent). The pharmacy computer system identified 63 percent of the patients. Of these, 13 percent were not billed for albumin they received. Examinations of patient billing statements found that up to $17,740 a year (15 percent) of albumin administered is not billed. The floor-stock distribution system used in the intensive care units contributed to most errors. Conclusions: Recommendations addressing the problems identified in this audit were made to the pharmacy, medical, nursing, and billing departments. Guidelines for albumin use were formulated and approved by the hospital's pharmacy and therapeutics committee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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