News Release 

Study finds enhanced role of pharmacists contributes to increase in patient satisfaction

New evidence shows pharmacists positively influence hospital care transitions

ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists)

LAS VEGAS (December 11, 2019) -- Patients who received focused attention from pharmacists during hospital stays expressed higher satisfaction, according to research presented at the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) 54th Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.

"Previous research demonstrates that poor communication and planning during transitions of care lead to increased adverse drug events and higher hospital readmission rates. In our study, we were seeking a way to improve patient satisfaction and safety as well as reduce hospital readmission rates," said Katherine L. March, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. "Without any additional resourcing, we focused Methodist pharmacy staff on medicine reconciliation and disease education. Ultimately, we found that pharmacy-based transition-of-care models can improve patient satisfaction. We saw a drop in readmission rates as well."

The study centered on the effect of pharmacists putting emphasis on educating patients about medications as they transitioned out of hospital care. During the study, pharmacists reconciled patients' medication before discharge, talked with patients about the medication they were taking, and contacted them by phone after discharge to discuss their care.

Of the 1,728 patients included in the study, 414 received the full transition-of-care education protocol, including a follow-up pharmacist phone call. Those patients showed a substantial increase of 14.7 percent in the overall average mean score, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which assesses patient's perceptions of their care after discharge.

In a post-hoc analysis, hospital 30-day readmission rates dropped 5 percent (from17.3 percent to 12.4 percent) when a post-discharge phone call was made to patients as a part of the study.

"Pharmacists play a multitude of vital roles for patients during a hospital stay, including comprehensive medication management and ensuring medication safety. Now, they can feel increasingly confident about their role in helping patients when transitioning from different levels of care. Our findings add to growing literature demonstrating that pharmacist involvement in hospital discharge improves outcomes and safety," said March.

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The research entitled Pharmacists Transitions-of-Care Service Improves HCAHPS Scores and Decreases 30-day Hospital Readmission Rates will be presented at the ASHP 54th Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition on Wed, Dec. 11, at 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. PST.

The research study team included Katherine L. March, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist - Methodist University Hospital and Assistant Professor - University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Michael Peters, Pharm.D., BCPS; Christopher Finch, Pharm.D., FCCM, FCCP; Lauchland Roberts, Pharm.D.; and Jennifer Twilla, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP.

About the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition

ASHP's Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition is the largest gathering of pharmacy professionals in the world. Attended by more than 25,000 pharmacy professionals from across the globe, the Midyear meeting provides opportunities for professional development, networking, enhancing practice skills, and staying current with the latest products and innovations. Tag and follow ASHP and the meeting on social media, #ASHP19 and @ASHPOfficial.

About ASHP

ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization's 50,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more than 75 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP's website, http://www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, http://www.SafeMedication.com.

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