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HCMC’s Enhanced Discharge Transitions of Care Team, part of the Health System Pharmacy Services, was one of eight programs recently recognized for improving patient outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions by the Medication Management in Care Transitions (MMCT) Project of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP). Eighty-two programs were evaluated through a stringent, competitive process.
HCMC’s model began as a pilot in June 2011 by deploying pharmacists to complete medication reconciliation upon discharge and medication therapy management at the follow-up clinic appointment within 5-7 days of discharge. This model focuses on patients that are admitted to the inpatient general medicine service, regardless of diagnosis. The program has since expanded its services throughout the medical center and primary care and retail clinics.
“We addressed some key issues that were affecting the discharge process and our team responded to the needs of our patients,” explains HCMC’s Director of Pharmaceutical Services Bruce Thompson. “From previous work we knew our medication reconciliation provided positive results, so we added the pharmacist visit shortly after discharge, and it provided great outcomes by improving patient care.”
The care transitions programs improve care as patients move within the health care system and from acute care to home settings. The eight best practices identified by MMCT will be shared with health care providers and organizations, government agencies and other interested stakeholders to help demonstrate and model how using pharmacists in transitions of care can improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.
The MMCT plans to highlight key elements from these successful programs, describe implementation barriers and recommend strategies for addressing these barriers in a report that will be available later this year.