Better Discharge Services Urged to Improve Pediatric Transition Care

APRIL 07, 2017
Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor

Pediatric patients can benefit from improved discharge medication services when transitioning from hospital to home, according to data reported in a poster presentation at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) 2017 Annual Meeting & Exposition. Discharge services increase adherence to medication therapy plans, understanding of medications including side effects, and overall patient satisfaction.
 
The researchers from Maine Medical Center aimed to improve the discharge medication process for pediatric patients through collaborative team interventions designed to facilitate better understanding of medication treatment plans. The goal was to provide outpatient pharmacy services that offer patients and families education and medications in hand prior to hospital discharge.
 
Results prior to team interventions observed a baseline of ~4% discharge medications. New baseline was established at 50.2% with team interventions by December 2015, and was then increased to 80% by August 2016.
 
The study focused on 2 objectives. The primary objective in January 2015 was to increase the percentage of patients leaving the hospital with new medications in hand. The secondary objective was to improve family member confidence and understanding of discharge medication plans.
 
The team offered several services, such as access to on-site outpatient pharmacy, bedside delivery of new medications, earlier identification of financial barriers to filling medications, discharge medication teaching by pharmacists, and teaching with patients’ actual medication in hand.
 
Interventions such as the use of the outpatient pharmacy consult, bedside delivery, and pharmacist teaching increased. According to the HCAHPS survey, the percentage of family members who expressed satisfaction with information about new medication side effects prior to discharge rose from 46% to 81%.
 
The percentage of family members unable to teach-back correct use of medications at 3 days post-discharge follow-up phone call decreased.
 
Overall, the researchers concluded that the team’s interventions showed a positive trend in boosting the number of patients leaving the hospital with medications in hand and pharmacist teachings. Providing accessible discharge services to patients and families is crucial for increasing adherence and understanding of medication plans.
 
Reference
 
Miller JL, Bryden M, Diminick N, et al. Pediatric patient-centered transitions from hospital to home: improving the discharge medication process. Presented at: American Pharmacists Association 2017 Annual Meeting & Exposition. March 24-27, 2017. San Francisco.
 

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