Special Issue "Medication Management in Care Transitions"

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Emily Hawes
Website
Guest Editor
Clinical Associate Professor, University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Adjunct Associate Professor, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Interests: clinical pharmacy; care transitions; anticoagulation; pharmacist prescribing; billing for pharmacy services; primary care; family medicine
Dr. Jamie Cavanaugh
Website
Guest Editor
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Adjunct Assistant Professor, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Interests: clinical pharmacy; care transitions; patient care team; primary care; pharmacy service models; billing for pharmacy services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Medication management is an overarching term used to describe services aimed at optimizing medication use. Medication management may include patient education; medication reconciliation; medication evaluation; and medication optimization through patient education, communication with other health care providers, and utilization of adherence tools. Pharmacists have extensive knowledge of the evidence-based use of medications and safety, communication strategies that optimize interprofessional work, and patient education techniques. This knowledge base optimally positions pharmacists to provide medication management.

Patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors at points of care transition. Care transitions are defined as the movement of care from one healthcare setting to another or from one set of health care practitioners to another. Medications errors may result in increased complexity of care, hospital readmissions, and higher health care costs. Although still not widely adopted, pharmacy interventions during and after hospitalization have demonstrated a reduction in medication-related problems, use of emergency care, and hospital readmissions. We invite you and your colleagues to send in articles for this Special Issue on ‘’Medication Management in Care Transitions’’. We welcome research regarding medication management surrounding care transitions in practice, theoretical and methodological reflections, as well as reflections about tendencies and challenges in care transitions.

Prof. Dr. Emily Hawes
Dr. Jamie Cavanaugh
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmacy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Care transitions
  • Medication management
  • Discharge
  • Readmissions
  • Medication reconciliation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Incorporating Oral Health Considerations for Medication Management in Care Transitions
Pharmacy 2020, 8(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8020067 - 16 Apr 2020
Abstract
Transitions of care involve multifaceted considerations for patients, which can pose significant challenges if factors like oral health are overlooked when evaluating medication management. This article examines how oral health factors should be considered in medication management of patients who may be at [...] Read more.
Transitions of care involve multifaceted considerations for patients, which can pose significant challenges if factors like oral health are overlooked when evaluating medication management. This article examines how oral health factors should be considered in medication management of patients who may be at risk for hospital readmission. This article also explores successes and challenges of a pharmacy consult service integrated into a dental clinic practice, and the opportunities within that setting to improve overall patient outcomes including those related to care transitions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Enhancing Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Involvement in Transitions of Care Focusing on Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010047 - 22 Mar 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) involvement in the post-discharge period on 30-day readmission rates within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Patients eligible for inclusion were discharged from a Veterans Affairs (VA) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) involvement in the post-discharge period on 30-day readmission rates within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Patients eligible for inclusion were discharged from a Veterans Affairs (VA) acute care facility with a principle or secondary diagnosis of heart failure (HF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or both HF and COPD from 15 October 2018 through 14 January 2019. CPSs functioning as a mid-level provider with a scope of practice conducted telephone and in-clinic medication management appointments within 7 and 21 days post-discharge for qualifying patients discharged with a principle or secondary diagnosis of HF or COPD. CPS appointments focused on medication reconciliation, ensuring continuity of care, disease state counseling, and medication management. By enhancing the role of the CPS in the post-discharge period, there was an observed decrease in 30-day COPD index (p = 0.35), HF index (p = 0.23), and all-cause (p = 0.62) readmission rates from pre- to post-intervention. The results of this intervention show that CPS intervention in the post-discharge period may reduce index and all-cause readmission rates for patients discharged with a principle or secondary discharge diagnosis of COPD or HF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessCommunication
Advancing Pharmacy Practice through an Innovative Ambulatory Care Transitions Program at an Academic Medical Center
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010040 - 12 Mar 2020
Abstract
Hospital readmissions are common and often preventable, leading to unnecessary burden on patients, families, and the health care system. The purpose of this descriptive communication is to share the impact of an interdisciplinary, outpatient clinic-based care transition intervention on clinical, organizational, and financial [...] Read more.
Hospital readmissions are common and often preventable, leading to unnecessary burden on patients, families, and the health care system. The purpose of this descriptive communication is to share the impact of an interdisciplinary, outpatient clinic-based care transition intervention on clinical, organizational, and financial outcomes. Compared to usual care, the care transition intervention decreased the median time to Internal Medicine Clinic (IMC) or any clinic follow-up visit by 5 and 4 days, respectively. By including a pharmacist in the hospital follow-up visit, the program significantly reduced all-cause 30-day hospital readmission rates (9% versus 26% in usual care) and the composite endpoint of 30-day health care utilization, which is defined as readmission and emergency department (ED) rates (19% versus 44% usual care). Over the course of one year, this program can prevent 102 30-day hospital readmissions with an estimated cost reduction of $1,113,000 per year. The pharmacist at the IMC collaborated with the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) pharmacist to standardize practices. In the FMC, the hospital readmission rate was 6.5% for patients seen by a clinic-based pharmacist within 30 days of discharge compared to 20% for those not seen by a pharmacist. This transitions intervention demonstrated a consistent and recognizable contribution from pharmacists providing direct patient care and practicing in the ambulatory care primary care settings that has been replicated across clinics at our academic medical center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a Pharmacist-Led Transitions of Care Program within a Primary Care Practice: A Two-Phase Pilot Study
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010004 - 04 Jan 2020
Abstract
Pharmacists in primary care settings have unique opportunities to address the causes of ineffective care transitions. The objective of this study is to describe the implementation of a multifaceted pharmacist transitions of care (TOC) intervention integrated into a primary care practice and evaluate [...] Read more.
Pharmacists in primary care settings have unique opportunities to address the causes of ineffective care transitions. The objective of this study is to describe the implementation of a multifaceted pharmacist transitions of care (TOC) intervention integrated into a primary care practice and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. This was a two-phase pilot study describing the development, testing, and evaluation of the TOC program. In Phase 1, the TOC intervention was implemented in a general patient population, while Phase 2 focused the intervention on high-risk patients. The two pilot phases were compared to each other (Phase 1 vs. Phase 2) and to a historical control group of patients who received usual care prior to the intervention (Phase 1 and Phase 2 vs. control). The study included 138 patients in the intervention group (Phase 1: 101 and Phase 2: 37) and 118 controls. At baseline, controls had a significantly lower LACE index, shorter length of stay, and a lower number of medications at discharge, indicating less medical complexity. A total of 344 recommendations were provided over both phases, approximately 80% of which were accepted. In adjusted models, there were no significant differences in 30-day all-cause readmissions between Phase 2 and controls (aOR 0.78; 95% CI 0.21–2.89; p = 0.71) or Phase 1 (aOR 0.99; 95% CI 0.30–3.37; p = 0.99). This study successfully implemented a pharmacist-led TOC intervention within a primary care setting using a two-phase pilot design. More robust studies are needed in order to identify TOC interventions that reduce healthcare utilization in a cost-effective manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
Open AccessArticle
Pharmacist–Physician Collaboration to Improve the Accuracy of Medication Information in Electronic Medical Discharge Summaries: Effectiveness and Sustainability
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010002 - 30 Dec 2019
Abstract
Inaccurate or missing medication information in medical discharge summaries is a widespread and intractable problem. This study evaluated the effectiveness and sustainability of an intervention in which ward-based hospital pharmacists reviewed, contributed and verified medication information in electronic discharge summaries (EDSs) in collaboration [...] Read more.
Inaccurate or missing medication information in medical discharge summaries is a widespread and intractable problem. This study evaluated the effectiveness and sustainability of an intervention in which ward-based hospital pharmacists reviewed, contributed and verified medication information in electronic discharge summaries (EDSs) in collaboration with physicians. Retrospective audits of randomly selected EDSs were conducted on seven wards at a major public hospital before and after implementation of the intervention and repeated two years later on four wards where the intervention was incorporated into usual pharmacist care. EDSs for 265 patients (prescribed a median of nine discharge medications) were assessed across the three time points. Pharmacists verified the EDSs for 47% patients in the first post-intervention audit and 68% patients in the second post-intervention audit. Following the intervention, the proportion of patients with one or more clinically significant discharge medication list discrepancy fell from 40/93 (43%) to 14/92 (15%), p < 0.001. The proportion of clinically significant medication changes stated in the EDSs increased from 222/417 (53%) to 296/366 (81%), p < 0.001, and the proportion both stated and explained increased from 206/417 (49%) to 245/366 (67%), p < 0.001. Significant improvements were still evident after two years. Pharmacists spent a median of 5 (range 2–16) minutes per patient contributing to EDSs. Logistics, timing and pharmacist workload were barriers to delivering the intervention. Additional staff resources is needed to enable pharmacists to consistently deliver this effective intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessCommunication
Evolution of Interdisciplinary Transition of Care Services in a Primary Care Organization
Pharmacy 2019, 7(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7040164 - 03 Dec 2019
Abstract
Transitions of care create complex management challenges for providers and leave patients vulnerable to medication errors and hospital readmissions. This article examines the evolution of an interdisciplinary team of pharmacists and nurse care managers and their impact on safe and effective transitions from [...] Read more.
Transitions of care create complex management challenges for providers and leave patients vulnerable to medication errors and hospital readmissions. This article examines the evolution of an interdisciplinary team of pharmacists and nurse care managers and their impact on safe and effective transitions from the acute care settings back into primary care. This article explores successes and challenges of this primary-care-based clinic in managing patients safely through often-complex situations, and explores future directions for improving care processes and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
Open AccessArticle
Impact of Pharmacist Involvement on Telehealth Transitional Care Management (TCM) for High Medication Risk Patients
Pharmacy 2019, 7(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7040158 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
This pilot study sought to evaluate the impact of pharmacist involvement in the preexisting telehealth transitional care management (TCM) program at Atrium Health on the quality and safety of the medication discharge process for high medication risk patients. Eligible participants were those 18 [...] Read more.
This pilot study sought to evaluate the impact of pharmacist involvement in the preexisting telehealth transitional care management (TCM) program at Atrium Health on the quality and safety of the medication discharge process for high medication risk patients. Eligible participants were those 18 years of age or older with moderate-to-high risk for hospital readmission who were contacted by a TCM Nurse, identified as high medication risk patients, and referred to the TCM Pharmacist from September 2018 through February 2019. The TCM Pharmacist contacted patients by phone, completed a comprehensive medication review, identified medication list discrepancies (MLDs) and medication-related problems (MRPs), and made interventions or recommendations to primary care providers. Primary endpoints included the number and types of MLDs identified, number and types of MRPs identified, and the rate of unplanned 30-day hospital readmissions. Seventy-six patients were enrolled, and 78 MLDs and 108 MRPs were identified. Of the identified MRPs, 74.1% were resolved. A relative risk reduction of 36.8% was achieved for 30-day hospital readmissions for those with high medication risk contacted by the TCM Pharmacist compared to those only contacted by the TCM Nurse. Overall, TCM Pharmacists identified and resolved 80 medication-related problems, improved access to medication therapy, provided comprehensive medication counseling, and bridged gaps in care following hospital discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of a Pharmacy-Led Transition of Care Service on Post-Discharge Medication Adherence
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030128 - 31 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study assesses the effectiveness of a pharmacy-led transition of care (TOC) service on increasing patients’ understanding of, and reported adherence to, medication post hospital discharge. A cross-sectional survey was administered to patients who were discharged from the hospital with at least one [...] Read more.
This study assesses the effectiveness of a pharmacy-led transition of care (TOC) service on increasing patients’ understanding of, and reported adherence to, medication post hospital discharge. A cross-sectional survey was administered to patients who were discharged from the hospital with at least one medication received via bedside delivery from the TOC service. Adherence was assessed by asking the patient if they had taken their discharge medications as instructed by the prescriber. Satisfaction with the discharge medication counseling service was assessed through a five-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics were conducted for all questionnaire items and qualitative data was examined using content analysis. The majority of patients (73%) were counseled on their medication(s) before leaving the hospital. Among those who received counseling, 76 patients had a better understanding of their medication(s). Ninety-five percent of the patients reported adherence, and all six of the patients reporting non-adherence claimed they were not counseled on their medications prior to discharge. Many patients had questions regarding their medication during the follow-up phone call, substantiating the need for further follow-up with patients once they have left the hospital environment. The implementation of medication bedside delivery and counseling services, followed by outpatient adherence monitoring via a transitional care management service, can result in higher levels of reported medication adherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)

Review

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Open AccessReview
An Integrated Health-System Specialty Pharmacy Model for Coordinating Transitions of Care: Specialty Medication Challenges and Specialty Pharmacist Opportunities
Pharmacy 2019, 7(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7040163 - 03 Dec 2019
Abstract
Adherence and persistence to specialty medications are necessary to achieve successful outcomes of costly therapies. The increasing use of specialty medications has exposed several unique barriers to certain specialty treatments’ continuation. Integrated specialty pharmacy teams facilitate transitions in sites of care, between different [...] Read more.
Adherence and persistence to specialty medications are necessary to achieve successful outcomes of costly therapies. The increasing use of specialty medications has exposed several unique barriers to certain specialty treatments’ continuation. Integrated specialty pharmacy teams facilitate transitions in sites of care, between different provider types, among prescribed specialty medications, and during financial coverage changes. We review obstacles encountered within these types of transitions and the role of the specialty pharmacist in overcoming these obstacles. Case examples for each type of specialty transition provide insight into the unique complexities faced by patients, and shed light on pharmacists’ vital role in patient care. This insightful and real-world experience is needed to facilitate best practices in specialty care, particularly in the growing number of health-system specialty pharmacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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