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Pharmacists Aid in the Reduction of Unplanned Admissions for the Elderly

Systematic review and meta-analysis finds value in pharmacist-led interventions

Medication-related problems are often cited as a reason for hospital readmissions. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials, conducted by researchers of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, evaluated pharmacist-led interventions compared with usual care to examine the outcome of unplanned admissions or readmissions.

As reported by Fierce Healthcare, pharmacists were able to cut preventable hospital readmissions by keeping in touch with discharged patients to ensure medication adherence, according to the research, which was presented at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy 2015 Global Conference. Led by Amy Drew of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, researchers regularly contacted 248 patients discharged to two outpatient clinics to confirm they understood how to use any medications they had been prescribed, as well as making no contact with a control group. They found 58.1% of patients in the counseling group saw a health care provider within the two weeks after their discharge, compared to 80.7% in the control group.

Overall, evidence from three randomized controlled trials suggests that interventions led by hospital pharmacists reduce unplanned hospital admissions in older patients with heart failure, although these trials were heterogeneous. Data from 16 trials do not support the concept that interventions led by hospital or community pharmacists for the general older population reduce unplanned admissions.

Source: Fierce Healthcare, October 20, 2015.

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