Did you know, an easy way to reduce readmissions is by getting pharmacists involved in the medication reconciliation process?

Studies have demonstrated that up to 20% of readmissions are due to medication-related problems (MRPs) and that 70% of these problems are preventable if pharmacy staff are part of the discharge process.

In fact, Duke University Hospital published results of a pharmacist-led discharge medication reconciliation process with the aim of reducing discharge medication discrepancies and unplanned readmissions. 67% of the patients needed an intervention that was discovered by the pharmacist, even though the provider already completed a preliminary med rec.

So, should your organization start?

4 Steps to Reduce Readmissions through Medication Reconciliation

  1. Review the discharge medication reconciliation process using the Med Rec Discovery Tool.
  2. Ask several clinicians who are currently responsible for discharge med rec to describe the process and compare the discovery tool. Chances are that if nursing staff or providers are carrying out this task independently, there is room for improvement.
  3. Engage your pharmacy staff to identify strategies to implement in closing gaps discovered through your review.
  4. Test! Select one pharmacy-driven strategy to test. Start small with a segmented group of patients. Use your data to determine which small group of patients to prioritize for the first tests of change. This small group of patients in the initial test of change might be identified by age, diagnosis, number of medications, drug classifications, or patients on two or more drugs of the same class for review to keep the pharmacist discharge med rec manageable.

We always recommend testing small groups, reviewing the results, noticing any improvements or learning opportunities, and continuing until you find the best solution to serve your patients. Even 1 avoided readmission is making strides toward a safer patient population because of your efforts.