Citation: Gillespie U, Alassaad A, Henrohn D, et al. A comprehensive pharmacist intervention to reduce morbidity in patients 80 years or older: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):894-900.
Geriatric Care Coordination at Discharge Reduces Readmission Rates at 30 Days
Clinical question: Does a discharge planning service package affect readmission rates and ED visits?
Background: Elderly patients are at high risk for readmission after a hospitalization. Coordinated care packages, although effective in congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management, have yielded inconsistent results in terms of decreasing readmission rates for patients with a broader range of medical issues.
Study design: Randomized controlled pilot study.
Setting: A single large academic medical center in Texas.
Synopsis: Forty-one elderly patients at high risk for readmission—because of their age and comorbidities—were enrolled within 72 hours of admission. Patients randomized to the care bundle arm received daily education about medication reconciliation, health conditions, and self-care provided by study pharmacists and nurses. The intervention required approximately 40 minutes per day: 20 to 25 minutes for the care coordinators and 20 minutes for the pharmacists. A post-discharge phone call to review medication and confirm follow-up instructions was included.
Eight patients in the control group and two patients in the intervention arm were readmitted or seen in the ED within 30 days after discharge (38% vs. 10%, P=0.004). At 60 days, the difference between the two groups was no longer significant. The intervention group had a longer time interval before its first readmission (36.2 days vs. 15.7 days). The sample was too small to determine the effect on length of hospitalization.
Limitations of the study include its small sample size and unclear costs of the intervention.
Bottom line: Geriatric discharge bundles might decrease readmission and ED visits after discharge, but larger studies are needed to confirm this finding.
Citation: Koehler BE, Richter KM, Youngblood L, et al. Reduction of 30-day post-discharge hospital readmission or emergency department (ED) visit rates in high-risk elderly medical patients through delivery of a targeted care bundle. J Hosp Med. 2009;4(4):211-218.
Computer-Assisted Medication Reconciliation Might Reduce Unintentional Drug Discrepancies with Potential for Harm
Clinical question: Does a computerized medication reconciliation intervention reduce unintentional medication discrepancies?
Background: Given the high prevalence of unintentional medication discrepancies in hospitalized patients and the potential for harm, medication reconciliation is a national patient safety goal. Little data exist on the efficacy of medication reconciliation interventions for reducing medication discrepancies.