Pharmacy Study Expects to Lower Hospital Readmissions
|Targeted News Service|
Getting discharged from the hospital and then having to go right back in again can be emotionally draining for a patient and their family. It can also cause financial strain for all involved ... the patient, the hospital system and the insurers--including
Researchers at the
"Patients with certain diseases take many different kinds of medications, and when their medications are well managed, then being readmitted should be mostly preventable," associate professor
The study, funded by a
Luder and Heaton are co-investigators on the larger, NACDS-sponsored study.
In the pilot, Luder says, patients who saw the pharmacist were less likely to be readmitted than patients who did not participate.
This study, she says, "is a huge opportunity to expand the successful pilot program to several different hospitals and several different pharmacies across the
The Health Collaborative will involve the health care technology partner
The study will focus on patients with complex disease states--heart failure, COPD, pneumonia, myocardial infarction (heart attack) or diabetes--when discharged from select hospitals in the
The role of the college will be to train the pharmacists on the counseling protocol and to analyze the outcomes, says Heaton, adding: "Historically, hospitals and pharmacies haven't had an efficient, accurate way to communicate after the patient is discharged, and it's during this transition when a lot of miscommunication happens. We want to be there ... we want to show that with these complex cases the community pharmacist can help lower readmissions."
The pharmacist will do a variety of things to improve care such as reviewing medications for contraindications, drug interactions, side effects, non-adherence, duplications, and a variety of other common problems, says Luder, whose faculty position is co-funded by the college and
Luder, who is also a community pharmacist, says that she sees first-hand how overwhelmed patients are following discharge from the hospital: "Often medications are discontinued, added or changed during their hospital stay and patients don't fully understand the directions they receive upon discharge. It's very helpful to review discharge instructions with patients a few days after discharge at the community pharmacy to help them understand all the changes that were made."
Additional partners in the study include the
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