Background: Substantial opportunity exists to improve medication management in the period following a hospital discharge. The objective of this study was to assess and improve medication management during care transitions through pharmacist home visits and the use of an electronic personal health record (ePHR) system.
Methods: Recently discharged patients aged 50 years or older and having a chronic medical condition were offered the opportunity to meet with a pharmacist in the home setting to review medication instructions and receive a demonstration of an ePHR system. Patients agreeable to using the ePHR system were offered pharmacist support with setting up the ePHR system, having emphasis on documenting and reviewing medication regimens. Medication-related problems identified by the pharmacist during the visit were categorized according to ePHR use and by other characteristics.
Results: Thirty recently discharged patients with chronic disease were visited by a pharmacist over a 6-month period. The percentage of medication-related problems identified by the pharmacist was greater among those patients who agreed to use the ePHR system, as compared with patients whose visit did not include use of the ePHR (75% versus 40%, respectively; P=0.06). Differing types of medication-related problems were identified, including therapy duplications, lack of use of clinically important therapies, and patient nonadherence.
Conclusion: For some patients, the home setting can be a suitable venue for medication review and education after discharge from hospital. Assisting patients with setting up the ePHR system may enhance pharmacists' ability to identify and resolve medication-related problems that may lead to rehospitalization.
Keywords: care transition; electronic personal health record; medication reconciliation.