Multidisciplinary telephone conferences about medication therapy after discharge of older inpatients: a feasibility study

Int J Clin Pharm. 2021 Oct;43(5):1381-1393. doi: 10.1007/s11096-021-01265-8. Epub 2021 Apr 13.


Background Studies have shown poor post-discharge implementation by the general practitioner of changes made to patients' medication during admission. Objective To assess the feasibility of conducting telephone conferences delivering information about changes in older patients' medications from hospital to general practitioners. Setting Two departments of geriatric medicine in a Danish routine healthcare setting. Method Older polypharmacy patients (≥ 65 years and ≥ 5 prescriptions) consecutively admitted were eligible for inclusion. Telephone conferences based on a review of these patient's medication therapy during hospital stay were arranged between a pharmacist and a geriatrician from the hospital, and a general practitioner. Interviews were conducted with pharmacists, geriatricians, and general practitioners about their perspectives on the feasibility of telephone conferences. Interviews were analyzed using systematic text condensation. Main outcome measure The proportion of telephone conferences conducted and perspectives on the feasibility of the study. Results A total of 113 patients were included and 82 patients (75%) were eligible for telephone conferences. A total of 40 (49%) telephone conferences were conducted. The main reasons for conferences not being conducted were general practitioners not wanting to participate or not returning the calls from the pharmacists. Three themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: considerations on planning and running the project, Barriers, facilitators, and implications of the telephone conference, and Actual and desirable cross-sectorial communication. Conclusion Telephone conferences were only possible for half of the patients. The participating general practitioners, pharmacists and geriatricians expressed varied benefit and agreed that telephone conferences were mainly relevant for complex patients.

Keywords: Continuity of care; Medication review; Multidisciplinary communication; Multimorbidity; Telephone conferences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Pharmacists
  • Telephone