Sharing discharge information with community pharmacy reduces hospital readmissions, study finds

According to one study, the number of hospital readmissions among older people using adherence support was reduced by sharing hospital discharge information with community pharmacies.

The aim of the study, published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
(August 7, 2019), was to assess whether PharmOutcomes “Connect with Pharmacy” (CwP) software – a web-based electronic transfer of care initiative that allows for discharge of discharge information between hospital and pharmacy patient-chosen community – reduced hospital readmission rates in older patients.

The researchers also examined whether the intervention had an effect on the length of stay of those admitted after a CwP referral.

The first phase of the CwP initiative focused on patients who used an adherence aid.

Researchers retrospectively collected information from 627 patients who were referred by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to the Community Pharmacy via CwP between January 16, 2017 and April 16, 2017.

Six months after the intervention, they found that emergency readmission rates had decreased by 16.16% from baseline.

Although there was no reduction in the total length of stay, further analysis found that the intervention may reduce the number of days spent in hospital when the patient was there for more than three days. .

The researchers noted that “people with complex care needs frequently require care in different settings and are particularly vulnerable to medication issues at every transition of care.”

“Our next step would be to assess whether follow-up – and of what type (such as medication review, counseling, medication reconciliation) – in such a population by the community pharmacist has a significant impact on patients. readmissions, “they added.

The CwP service currently operates at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust and Bradford Royal Infirmary, with the intention of expanding the program to Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and Airedale General Hospital.

There are currently plans to introduce the Medication Transfer of Care (TCAM) program in 50% of trusts in England by the end of 2020. It helps identify inpatients who need additional support with their medications and allows them to be referred to local community pharmacies. for advice.

Similar to the CwP service, the TCAM program has been shown to reduce the likelihood of patients being readmitted to hospital.

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