The feasibility of an inter-professional transitions of care service in an older adult population

Am J Emerg Med. 2019 Mar;37(3):553-556. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.07.047. Epub 2018 Jul 24.


Background: Older adults discharged from the Emergency Department (ED) are at high risk for medication interactions and side effects; examples of practice models addressing this transition of care are lacking.

Methods: This was a prospective cohort study for adults in one of two urban community EDs. Patients ≥50 years of age discharged with at least one new, non-schedule II prescription medication were included. Patients had the option of three transitions of care services: 1) pharmacist-only with home delivery of discharge medications and full medication reconciliation, 2) pharmacist and home health care, including home delivery, medication reconciliation, and a visit from a home health nurse, or 3) either of the above without home delivery.

Results: Over seven months, 440 ED patients were screened. Of those, 43 patients were eligible, and three patients elected to join the study. All three patients selected pharmacy-only. Identified barriers to enrollment include the rate of schedule II prescriptions from the ED (53% of potential patients) and high patient loyalty to their community pharmacist.

Conclusions: A pharmacy and home health care transitions of care program was not feasible at an urban community ED. While the pharmacist team identified and managed multiple medication issues, most patients did not qualify due to prescriptions ineligible for delivery. Patients did not want pharmacist or home health nurse involvement in their post ED visit care, many due to loyalty to their community pharmacy. Multiple barriers must be addressed to create a successful inter-professional transition of care model.

Keywords: Community pharmacy services; Emergency department; Home health nursing; Inter-professional; Older adult; Transitional care.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / statistics & numerical data
  • Facilities and Services Utilization
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence
  • Medication Reconciliation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ohio
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urban Population