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Effect of pharmacy-led interventions during care transitions on patient hospital readmission: A systematic review

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 May 24:S1544-3191(22)00155-8. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2022.05.017. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) established the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) to reduce reimbursement payments to hospitals with excessive patient readmissions. Because of this program, hospitals have developed transitions of care (TOC) programs to improve patient outcomes.

OBJECTIVES: To identify and uniformly summarize the impact of pharmacy-led TOC interventions on 30-day readmission rates since the implementation of CMS HRRP.

METHODS: This study followed an a-priori protocol that was registered to International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. A systematic search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and CINAHL from January 1, 2013 through January 14, 2022. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: pharmacy-led intervention, 30-day readmission outcomes, patients at least 18 years old, original research performed in the United States, and English language only articles. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize study characteristics, outcomes, and elements of the study interventions.

RESULTS: A total of 1964 abstracts were screened with 123 studies being included in the review. A total of 110 (89.4%) studies showed a decrease in readmission rates. The largest decrease in readmission rates was 44.5% (range 0.2%-44.5%, median = 7.4%) and the most common pharmacy-led intervention was patient counseling (n = 119, 96.7%) followed by medication reconciliation (n = 111, 90.2%). High-risk patient populations were commonly targeted with 52 studies (42.3%) focusing on CMS HRRP related diagnoses.

CONCLUSION: Most pharmacist-led TOC interventions contributed to lower rates of 30-day readmission. Future studies should investigate the types of interventions that most significantly impact readmission rates.

PMID:35718715 | DOI:10.1016/j.japh.2022.05.017

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