Objectives: To determine if a community pharmacy-based transition of care (TOC) program that included the full scope of medication therapy management (MTM) services (TransitionRx) decreased hospital readmissions, resolved medication-related problems, and increased patient satisfaction.
Design: Prospective, quasi-experimental study.
Setting: Nine Kroger Pharmacies located in Western Cincinnati.
Patients: Patients older than 18 years of age and discharged from two local hospitals with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or pneumonia. Patients were recruited from two local hospitals and referred to the community pharmacy for MTM services with the pharmacist within 1 week of discharge.
Main outcome measures: Pharmacists reconciled the patients' medications, identified drug therapy problems, recommended changes to therapy, and provided self-management education. At 30 days after discharge, research personnel conducted telephone surveys, using a previously validated survey instrument, to assess hospital readmissions and patient satisfaction. Pharmacist interventions and medication-related problems were documented.
Results: A total of 90 patients completed the study. Of these, 20% of patients in the usual care group were admitted to the hospital within 30 days compared with 6.9% of patients in the intervention group (P = 0.019). In the 30 patients who received MTM services from the pharmacist, 210 interventions were made. The overall mean patient satisfaction with the TOC process was not significantly different between patients who were seen by the pharmacist and those who were not seen by the pharmacist.
Conclusion: Community pharmacies successfully collaborated with hospitals to develop a referral process for TOC interventions. Patients who received MTM services from the pharmacist experienced significantly fewer readmissions than patients who received usual care.