Team of doctors having a meeting in the meeting room

A community pharmacy was successful in partnering with a hospital and other community pharmacies to lead a care transitions intervention associated with reduced 30-day same-hospital readmissions.

The results of this study were printed in the January-February 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacy Association.

Adult general medicine inpatients were evaluated by nursing staff with the use of a worksheet based on the Better Outcomes by Optimizing Safe Transitions (BOOST) readmission risk toolkit. The intervention group included 555 patients with a risk for readmissions; the non-control group included 430 patients that were in the same risk group, but did not receive the intervention offered.

The highest-risk patients were enrolled in a 3-contact intervention. First, a pharmacist from the primary community pharmacy made a visit to the patient’s room; the pharmacist focused on medication education, problem identification and verifying medication access following discharge.  A pharmacist visited the hospital for approximately 4 hours most weekdays, during which the pharmacist saw 3-4 patients. This face-to-face contact in the hospital was then followed up with 2 post discharge telephone calls by a community pharmacist 8 and 25 days after discharge.

Data on readmissions to the study hospital within 30 days for all patients receiving the initial intervention and the comparison group not receiving the intervention showed a statistically significant (P < 0.001) 13.3% absolute difference favoring the intervention group.

Read more about this study, the community approach to care coordination and the vital role community pharmacists can plan in improving care, health outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions.

Project BOOST, Better Outcomes for Older adults through Safe Transitions, is an initiative from the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) that is designed to improve the care of patients as they transition from the hospital to home. BOOST uses tools such as identifying high-risk patients, educating patients on their conditions and possible side effects of medication, scheduling follow-up physician appointments and medication reconciliation at discharge to ensure that drugs prescribed at discharge don’t harmfully interact with previously prescribed drugs.

The Great Plains QIN is working with community partners on a variety of interventions to improve medication safety and reduce readmissions, including pharmacy involvement in medication reconciliation.  Please contact us for additional information or view the many care coordination and medication safety resources on our website.

Source: Journal of the American Pharmacy Association; January – February 2018; Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 36–43