Experience with technology-supported transitions of care to improve medication use

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Abstract

Objective To describe an innovative community pharmacy–based pilot program using technology to support transitions of care for patients living in rural areas. Setting This service occurred through a partnership between 1 independent community pharmacy organization with 5 locations in Ohio and Indiana and one 92-bed general medical and surgical county hospital during May 2014 to May 2015. Practice description and innovation Community pharmacists worked with patients immediately following discharge to reconcile their medications and make recommendations to optimize therapy. The pharmacy packaged their new medication regimen in clear, individual dose adherence packaging. Medications were delivered by a staff driver to the patient's home within 72 hours of discharge. Patients consulted with the pharmacist by videoconference using a computer tablet device. Patients received telephone follow-up shortly before their medication supply was to run out, and additionally as needed on an individual basis. Evaluation Self-reported hospital readmissions were collected at 30 and 180 days after enrollment. Patient satisfaction data were also collected at 30 and 180 days using a tool modified from the 5-item Transition Measure (15-item Care Transitions Measure). Results Eighteen patients participated in the evaluation of the pilot. Three patients were readmitted within 30 days (17%), and 2 additional patients were readmitted within 180 days (11%). Patient satisfaction results were positive overall. Lessons learned relate to establishing partnerships, logistics, and patient engagement. These lessons will assist future community pharmacies in implementing a transition of care service. Conclusion This pharmacist care model may offer a solution to increase access to pharmacy services for patients in rural areas during a critical transition in care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-572
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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Patient Transfer
Hospital beds
Technology
Telephone
Tablets
Logistics
Packaging
Innovation
Pharmacists
Pharmacies
Patient Satisfaction
Handheld Computers
Videoconferencing
Patient Participation
County Hospitals
Patient Readmission
Pharmaceutical Services
Product Packaging
Organizations
Equipment and Supplies

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Experience with technology-supported transitions of care to improve medication use. / Frail, Caitlin K; Garza, Oscar W; Haas, Alison L.

In: Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, Vol. 56, No. 5, 01.09.2016, p. 568-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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