26% of readmissions are medication related, study shows

Researchers studied the impact of a quality improvement practice designed to identify and categorize potentially preventable medication-related hospital admissions. They published the results in Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

The practice involves pharmacists systematically assessing readmissions of high-risk patients to determine the reasons for the admission and whether each was potentially preventable and medication related. They applied the practice to 401 readmissions.

Here are three study findings:

1. Of the 401 readmissions, 26 percent were potentially preventable and medication related.

2. The most common categories were:

●    Nonadherence due to patient choice: 23.8 percent
●    Untreated condition for which medication is indicated: 13.3 percent
●    Dose too high: 10.5 percent
●    Dose too low: 10.5 percent

3. The percentage of readmissions that were potentially preventable and medication related was significantly higher in more rural areas (30 percent) compared to urban areas (17 percent).

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