Hospital referral of older patients to community pharmacy: outcome measures in a feasibility study

Ramsbottom, Helen, Fitzpatrick, Ray and Rutter, Paul (2020) Hospital referral of older patients to community pharmacy: outcome measures in a feasibility study. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy . ISSN 2210-7703

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Background Post-discharge medication use reviews in English community pharmacy aim to improve medicine support to recently discharged patients. However, there is little evidence of their impact on patient outcomes. Objective Identify potential outcome measures to investigate the impact of a hospital to community pharmacy referral service for older patients that utilises post-discharge medication reviews. Method Pharmacists at a district general hospital identified in-patients aged over 65 years who could benefit from a medication use review. Participants were randomised to receive referral for review, or standard discharge care. Participants were followed up at 4 weeks and 6 months via the hospital’s patient administration system and by postal questionnaire, regarding readmissions, medication adherence, health related quality of life and enablement. Results Fifty-nine participants were recruited. There were no statistically significant differences in outcomes between intervention and control groups. However there were trends towards shorter length of stay on readmission and improved self-reported physical health for intervention group participants. There were no preventable medication related readmissions involving participants who had received a post-discharge medication use review as part of the study. Conclusion This feasibility study could be scaled up to a full pilot study, followed by an adequately powered randomised controlled trial, in order to further investigate the effects of medication use review referral post-discharge.

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