Characterization of changes in medication complexity using a modified scoring tool

Andrea Sikora Newsome, Daniel Anderson, Morgan E. Gwynn, Jennifer L. Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to characterize dynamic changes in medication regimen complexity over time in critically ill adults and to validate a modified version of the medication regimen complexity-intensive care unit (MRC-ICU) scoring tool. Summary: A single-center, retrospective, observational chart review was conducted with a primary aim of assessing changes in medication regimen complexity over time, as measured by both the 39-item MRC-ICU scoring tool and a modified version (the mMRC-ICU) containing just 17 items. Secondary aims included validation of the mMRC-ICU and exploration of relationships between medication regimen complexity and ICU length of stay (LOS), inpatient mortality, and patient acuity. Adults admitted to a medical ICU from November 2016 through June 2017 were included. The medication regimens of a total of 130 patients were scored in order to test, modify, and validate the MRC-ICU and mMRC-ICU tools. The modified tool was validated by evaluating correlation of mMRC-ICU scores with MRC-ICU scores and with patient outcomes including patient acuity, ICU LOS, and inpatient mortality. mMRC-ICU scores were collected at 24 and 48 hours after admission and at ICU discharge to evaluate changes over time. Significant changes in medication regimen complexity over time were observed, with the highest scores observed at 24 hours after admission. Conclusion: Medication regimen complexity may provide valuable insights into pharmacist activity and resource allocation. Further validation of the MRC-ICU and mMRC-ICU scoring tools in other critically ill populations and at external sites is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S92-S95
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
StatePublished - Nov 13 2019


  • critical care
  • drug therapy
  • patient safety
  • patients
  • pharmacists
  • pharmacy
  • pharmacy practice model
  • scoring tool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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