Bar code technology has been used for 5 years to improve the efficiency of identifying and documenting clinical pharmacy services at our institution. Data for an entire year (1993) were analyzed to quantify the nature and magnitude of pharmacy services provided for critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICU). Patients in the medical (MICU), respiratory (RICU), intermediate (IMU), and surgical (SICU) units (3234/3743 patients, 86%) were reviewed. Clinical interventions and expected outcomes were documented by pharmacists using an automated bar code system. There were 11,628 pharmacotherapy interventions, 3.6/patient; 12/pharmacist work day. Of patients whose drug therapy was reviewed at least once, 50% (1610/3234) received at least one intervention. The mean number of interventions/patient was 7.2 in the MICU, 6.1 in RICU, 3.4 in IMU, and 2.4 in the SICU, corresponding to APACHE III scores of 71.2, 66.2, 42.8, and 43.3, respectively. The majority of interventions were to modify dosages of antimicrobial agents, and were performed to achieve optimum efficacy (42%) and to minimize toxicity (46.2%). These data support the necessity for pharmacists to provide individualized care to critically ill patients.