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Hospital pharmacy

Focused attention from pharmacists improves patient satisfaction, finds study

Hospital patients who receive focused attention from pharmacists report being more satisfied with their stay, a US study has found.

Research presented at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting showed that a pharmacist transition-of-care service improved ‘Hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems’ survey scores, which assess patients’ perceptions of their care after discharge.

The service involved pharmacists at the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, reconciling patients’ medication before discharge, talking with patients about the medication they were taking, and contacting them by phone after discharge to discuss their care.

Of the 1,728 patients in the study, 414 received the full transition-of-care education protocol, including a follow-up pharmacist phone call.

Those patients showed an increase of 14.7% in the overall average mean score measured by the survey, meaning they were more satisfied with the care they received.

Hospital 30-day readmission rates also dropped 5% (from 17.3% to 12.4%) when a post-discharge phone call was made to patients as a part of the study.

Katherine March, clinical pharmacy specialist at Methodist University Hospital, said previous research showed that poor communication and planning during transitions of care led to increased adverse drug events and higher hospital readmission rates.

“Pharmacists play a multitude of vital roles for patients during a hospital stay, including comprehensive medication management and ensuring medication safety,” she said. “Now, they can feel increasingly confident about their role in helping patients when transitioning from different levels of care.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207462

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