Perceived value and cost of providing emergency medication kits to home hospice patients in Maryland

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2010 Jun;27(4):254-60. doi: 10.1177/1049909109350178. Epub 2009 Dec 3.


Many hospices have adopted the use of ''emergency medication kits'' (EMK) to allow for management of emergent symptoms and to prevent unscheduled patient interventions. The purpose of this study was to compare perceptions of hospice managers and clinicians regarding the value of EMK and to assess outcomes. Clinical managers and clinicians reported that EMK were valuable in preventing emergency department visits, unscheduled nursing visits, pharmacy deliveries, and increased satisfaction. A hospice using EMK reported fewer calls requiring unscheduled interventions (18% vs 33%) and resulted in cost savings (US$23.04 per call vs US$31.62 per call). Hospice managers and clinicians perceived EMK to be valuable in areas of quality, cost, and satisfaction. There appears to be an advantage to routinely providing EMK for home hospice patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • After-Hours Care* / economics
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cost Control
  • Drug Therapy / economics*
  • Emergencies
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Home Care Services* / economics
  • Hospice Care* / economics
  • Humans
  • Maryland
  • Medication Systems / economics*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses'
  • Quality of Health Care