Reductions in Medication-Related Hospitalizations in Older Adults with Medication Management by Hospital and Community Pharmacists: A Quasi-Experimental Study

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Jan;65(1):212-219. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14518. Epub 2016 Oct 7.


Objectives: To evaluate the association between a system of medication management services provided by specially trained hospital and community pharmacists (Pharm2Pharm) and rates and costs of medication-related hospitalization in older adults.

Design: Quasi-experimental interrupted time series design comparing intervention and nonintervention hospitals using a mixed-effects analysis that modeled the intervention as a time-dependent variable.

Setting: Sequential implementation of Pharm2Pharm at six general nonfederal acute care hospitals in Hawaii with more than 50 beds in 2013 and 2014. All five other such hospitals served as a contemporaneous comparison group.

Participants: Adult inpatients who met criteria for being at risk for medication problems (N = 2,083), 62% of whom were aged 65 or older.

Intervention: A state-wide system of medication management services provided by specially trained hospital and community pharmacists serving high-risk individuals from hospitalization through transition to home and for up to 1 year after discharge.

Measurements: Medication-related hospitalization rate per 1,000 admissions of individuals aged 65 and older, adjusted for case mix; estimate of costs of hospitalizations and actual costs of pharmacist services.

Results: The predicted, case mix-adjusted medication-related hospitalization rate of individuals aged 65 and older was 36.5% lower in the Pharm2Pharm hospitals after implementation than in the nonintervention hospitals (P = .01). The estimated annualized cost of avoided admissions was $6.6 million. The annual cost of the pharmacist services for all Pharm2Pharm participants was $1.8 million.

Conclusion: The Pharm2Pharm model was associated with an estimated 36% reduction in the medication-related hospitalization rate for older adults and a 2.6:1 return on investment, highlighting the value of pharmacists as drug therapy experts in geriatric care.

Keywords: cost avoidance; geriatric care model; medication management; medication-related hospitalization; pharmacist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Cost Savings
  • Hawaii
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Medication Reconciliation*
  • Medication Therapy Management*
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital*
  • Transitional Care