June 17, 2015
Pharmacist-Led MTM Significantly Reduces
Hospital Readmissions

Cincinatti, OH—Pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) optimizes therapeutic outcomes by counseling patients on medication use and adherence, according to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

A report published recently in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association offers more evidence of MTM benefit. Patients provided MTM services from pharmacists had notably fewer hospital readmissions than similar patients receiving usual postdischarge care, according to the study led by University of Cincinnati researchers.

The research team sought to determine if a community pharmacy–based transition of care (TOC) program, including the full scope of MTM services—provided by TransitionRx in this case—could decrease hospital readmissions, resolve medication-related problems, and increase patient satisfaction.

The prospective, quasi-experimental study was conducted in nine Kroger Pharmacies in western Cincinnati. Participants who completed the study were 90 adult patients discharged from two local hospitals with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or pneumonia.

Within 1 week of discharge, patients were recruited from two local hospitals and referred to the community pharmacy for MTM services with the pharmacists, who reconciled the patients’ medications, identified drug therapy problems, recommended changes to therapy, and provided self-management education. A similar group of patients received usual care.

At 30 days from hospital discharge, telephone surveys were conducted to assess hospital readmissions and patient satisfaction. Results indicate that 20% of patients in the usual care group were admitted to the hospital within 30 days compared with 6.9% of patients in the intervention group. Study authors noted that of the 30 patients who received MTM services from the pharmacist, 210 interventions were made.

On the other hand, the overall mean patient satisfaction with the TOC process was not significantly different between patients who received pharmacist care and those who did not.

“Community pharmacies successfully collaborated with hospitals to develop a referral process for TOC interventions,” study authors conclude. “Patients who received MTM services from the pharmacist experienced significantly fewer readmissions than patients who received usual care.”

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect