Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of pharmacist-provided discharge counseling on mortality rate, hospital readmissions, emergency department visits, and medication adherence at 30 days post discharge.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial was approved by the local ethics committee and included patients aged 18 years or older admitted to the cardiology ward of a Brazilian tertiary hospital. The intervention group received a pharmacist-led medication counseling session at discharge and a telephone follow-up three and 15 days after discharge. The outcomes included the number of deaths, hospital readmissions, emergency department visits, and medication adherence. All outcomes were evaluated during a pharmacist-led ambulatory consultation performed 30 days after discharge.
Results: Of 133 patients, 104 were included in the analysis (51 and 53 in the intervention and control groups, respectively). The intervention group had a lower overall readmission rate, number of emergency department visits, and mortality rate, but the differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). However, the intervention group had a significantly lower readmission rate related to heart disease (0% vs. 11.3%, p=0.027), despite the small sample size. Furthermore, medication counseling contributed significantly to improved medication adherence according to three different tools (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Pharmacist-provided discharge medication counseling resulted in better medication adherence scores and a lower incidence of cardiovascular-associated hospital readmissions, thus representing a useful service for cardiology patients.