Pharmacists help reduce hospital readmissions at Einstein Philadelphia

Pharmacist intervention at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia resulted in a 9.8% readmission rate for traditional Medicare patients, compared with a 20.4% readmission rate for patients who did not receive interventions, according to a new study in the <i>American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy</i>.

Pharmacist intervention at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia resulted in a 9.8% readmission rate for traditional Medicare patients, compared with a 20.4% readmission rate for patients who did not receive interventions, according to a new study in the <i>American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy</i>. The hospital tapped three pharmacists to engage with inpatients in a bid to reduce the chance they would end up back in the hospital 30 days after discharge. The pharmacists' responsibilities included reviewing medications, adjusting dosages, providing education and counseling, confirming the patient had access to medications, and scheduling follow-ups at home. The researchers tested their quality-improvement initiative on 1,059 admissions of 667 Medicare patients from July 2012 through June 2013. They found that 30 of the 305 patients in the intervention group had unplanned readmissions, compared with 110 readmissions for the 518 patients who received the usual standard of care at discharge. Since the study, the hospital has been working on incorporating the pharmacist interventions into its standard care.