ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation on Thursday applauded a report illustrating the impact medication adherence can and should have on reducing hospital readmission rates, and the critical role community pharmacists play in coordinated care approaches to enhancing patient medication adherence.
The report “Thinking Outside the Pillbox: Improving Medication Adherence and Reducing Readmissions,” issued by the national health policy institute NEHI, found that a significant portion of hospital readmissions of Medicare patients are caused by medication-related adverse events. One-third of adverse drug events resulting in a hospital admission were related to nonadherence.
“Medication management is at the core of advanced discharge planning and transitional care. This reflects three realities: adverse events are a major cause of avoidable hospital readmissions; more post-discharge adverse events are related to drugs than other causes; and lack of adherence to medications prescribed at discharge has been shown to be a driver of post-discharge adverse drug,” the report found.
The report also points to lack of coordination between healthcare providers. Innovative models that include multidisciplinary healthcare teams — including community pharmacists — can help improve patient health following discharge from the hospital, which also reduces the cost of repeat hospitalizations to the healthcare system.
The NEHI report affirms the role community pharmacy can play in helping patients to avoid hospital readmissions and adverse events post-discharge,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “Community pharmacists collaboratively work with hospitals, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers in helping patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed and improving medication adherence, facilitating the transition from hospital to home.”
The NACDS Foundation is also currently conducting research on “primary medication adherence,” which will examine the impact of medication management services on patient health outcomes within existing medical homes or accountable care organization delivery models.
“The utilization of care teams is increasingly recognized as an effective strategy to remedy the often fragmented healthcare delivery system by coordinating treatment to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs,” Jaeger stated. “The NACDS Foundation will continue to work to help patients improve their health through an understanding of medication therapy and the importance of taking medications properly.”
To view the full report, click here.