Impact of Pharmacist-Driven Transitions of Care Interventions on Post-hospital Outcomes Among Patients With Coronary Artery Disease: A Systematic Review

J Pharm Pract. 2023 Jun;36(3):668-678. doi: 10.1177/08971900211064155. Epub 2021 Dec 28.


Background: Transitions of care (ToC) aim to provide continuity while preventing loss of information that may result in poor outcomes such as hospital readmission. Readmissions not only burden patients, they also increase costs. Given the high prevalence of coronary artery diseases (CAD) in the United States (US), patients with CAD often make up a significant portion of hospital readmissions. Objective: To conduct a systematic review evaluating the impact of pharmacist-driven ToC interventions on post-hospital outcomes for patients with CAD. Methods: MEDLINE, Scopus, and CINAHL were searched from database inception through 03/2020 using key words for CAD and pharmacists. Studies were included if they: (1) identified adults with CAD at US hospitals, (2) evaluated pharmacist-driven ToC interventions, and (3) assessed post-discharge outcomes. Outcomes were summarized qualitatively. Results: Of the 1612 citations identified, 11 met criteria for inclusion. Pharmacist-driven ToC interventions were multifaceted and frequently included medication reconciliation, medication counseling, post-discharge follow-up and initiatives to improve medication adherence. Hospital readmission and emergency room visits were numerically lower among patients receiving vs not receiving pharmacist-driven interventions, with statistically significant differences observed in 1 study. Secondary prevention measures and adherence tended to be more favorable in the pharmacist-driven intervention groups. Conclusion: Eleven studies of multifaceted, ToC interventions led by pharmacists were identified. Readmissions were numerically lower and secondary prevention measures and adherence were more favorable among patients receiving pharmacist-driven interventions. However, sufficiently powered studies are still required to confirm these benefits.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; cardiology; discharge planning; medication therapy management; myocardial infarction; pharmaceutical care.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / drug therapy
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Pharmacists
  • United States