Drug Therapy Problem Severity Following Hospitalization and Association With 30-Day Clinical Outcomes

Sarah M Westberg, Angela Yarbrough, Eric D Weinhandl, Terrence J Adam, Amanda R. Brummel, Shannon L. Reidt, Brian T Sick, Wendy L St Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Improved understanding of how drug therapy problems (DTPs) contribute to rehospitalization is needed. Objective: The primary objectives were to assess the association of DTP likelihood of harm (LoH) severity score, as measured by comprehensive medication management (CMM) pharmacist after hospital discharge, with 30-day risk of hospital readmission, observation visit, or emergency department visit, and to determine whether resolution of DTPs reduces 30-day risk. Secondary objectives were to determine if any eventswere associated with DTPs and preventability of events. Methods: Data were collected for 365 patients who received CMM following hospitalization and had at least 1 DTP identified. Retrospective chart reviews were completed for 80 patients with subsequent events to assess associationg with a DTP and its preventability. Results: For each 1-point increment in maximum LoH score, there was 10% higher risk of the composite end point (hazard ratio [HR]=1.10; 95% CI:0.97-1.26; P=0.13). When DTPs were resolved by the CMM pharmacist, the association was attenuated, with a HR of 1.15 (95% CI:0.96-1.38; P=0.12) when the DTP was unresolved and HR of 1.09 (95% CI:0.96-1.25; P=0.52) when resolved; for hospital readmission alone, the corresponding HRs were 1.23 (95% CI:1.00-1.53; P=0.05) and 1.05 (95% CI:0.87-1.27; P=0.60). Of 80 subsequent events, 44 were associated with a medication; 22 were considered preventable. Conclusion and Relevance: The LoH severity score was associated with risk of 30-day events. The strength of association was attenuated when DTPs were resolved by the CMM pharmacist. However, because of statistical uncertainty, larger studies are needed to confirm these patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1203
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • adverse drug reactions
  • drug safety
  • drug-related problem
  • hospitalization
  • medication therapy management
  • pharmaceutical care
  • readmissions

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