Medication Reconciliation Program Cuts Hospital Readmissions 50%

Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia reduced 30-day readmissions for high-risk heart failure patients by 50 percent by focusing on medication reconciliation, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

Deborah Hauser, RPh, MHA, pharmacy director for Philadelphia-based Einstein Healthcare Network, parent health system of Einstein Medical Center, developed a program to reduce readmissions for heart failure patients. The program, called REACH, includes the following elements, according to the report:

•    Reconciliation. Providers compare patients' prescriptions at arrival and departure, verify doses and check for missing or duplicated medications.
•    Education. A pharmacist meets with patients in their rooms at discharge and provides visual and written instructions for taking their medications.
•    Access. The hospital gives patients a month's supply of medication before they leave and bills them later.
•    Counseling. Providers call patients to follow-up within three days of discharge and at the end of the month to answer questions about their medication.
•    Healthy patients at home. Reconciliation, education, access and counseling should lead to healthy patients who do not need to be readmitted to the hospital.

Of the high-risk adult heart patients — those who have at least five prescriptions, two chronic conditions and 48 hours in the hospital — who participated in the REACH program, 10.6 percent were readmitted within 30 days, compared with 21.4 percent of high-risk heart patients who did not, according to the report.

More Articles on Hospital Readmissions:

3 Questions to Ask When Developing Post-Discharge Follow-Up Call Program
4 Ways ED Care Managers Can Facilitate Care Transitions

Report: Hospitals in CMS Program Cut Readmissions 14%, Save $100M

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