Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Phone call from pharmacist can reduce some hospital admissions

Date:
April 9, 2014
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
Pharmacist-patient telephone consultations appear to reduce hospitalizations in patients who are least at risk, finds a new study. Providing medication management via phone calls from pharmacists to patients is one strategy being used to reduce medication errors, adverse reactions and drug interactions, all of which contribute to costly hospitalizations and harm to patients. The cost of medication-related illness and death in the United States was estimated to be more than $290 billion in 2009.

Having a pharmacist call patients at home to go over their medications can identify many medication-based problems. However, a new study in Health Services Research found that pharmacist-patient telephone consultations only appear to reduce hospitalizations in patients who are least at risk.

Related Articles


"It is a little counterintuitive that those who were healthiest benefited most and those who were the sickest didn't," said Alan Zillich, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue College of Pharmacy in Indianapolis and lead author on the study.

Providing medication management via phone calls from pharmacists to patients is one strategy being used to reduce medication errors, adverse reactions and drug interactions, all of which contribute to costly hospitalizations and harm to patients. The cost of medication-related illness and death in the United States was estimated to be more than $290 billion in 2009.

For the study, nearly 900 home health Medicare patients were randomized to receive either medication therapy management services, including an initial call from a pharmacy technician, a phone consultation with a pharmacist, and follow-up phone calls or no pharmacist medication management services.

There was no significant difference between the two groups in the probability of being hospitalized within 60 days. However, when the patients were analyzed by the severity of their conditions, patients in the lowest risk quartile were three times as likely to remain out of the hospital as high risk patients.

The patients who were in the lowest risk quartile were the ones who were most mobile and most functional, but were still pretty sick, noted Zillich. Medication therapy management by telephone worked for this group. Sicker patients may need a home visit by a pharmacist or some form of a face-to-face meeting to help resolve medications problems, he added.

The telephone consultations between the 415 patients and pharmacists in the study group revealed 460 medication-related problems, including drug interactions, inappropriate drug or dosage, or problems with adherence. Twenty-four percent of these problems needed the involvement of a physician to resolve. Ninety percent of these problems were resolved.

"It's positive that we have gotten some very insightful information on what seems to work well in a certain segment of patients," said Anne Burns, R.Ph., vice president of professional affairs at the American Pharmacists Association in Washington, D.C. "For higher risk patients, further work is needed to determine the best medication therapy management delivery method or type of service," she added. Burns agreed with Zillich that some patients may do better with video conferencing or an in-person interaction with a pharmacist.

Burns also noted that the study found that physicians accepted the pharmacist's recommendations 80 percent of the time. "As we move to team-based care, this is an important consideration for effective medication therapy management."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. The original article was written by Valerie DeBenedette. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alan J. Zillich, Margie E. Snyder, Caitlin K. Frail, Julie L. Lewis, Donny Deshotels, Patrick Dunham, Heather A. Jaynes, Jason M. Sutherland. A Randomized, Controlled Pragmatic Trial of Telephonic Medication Therapy Management to Reduce Hospitalization in Home Health Patients. Health Services Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12176

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "Phone call from pharmacist can reduce some hospital admissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409134318.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2014, April 9). Phone call from pharmacist can reduce some hospital admissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409134318.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "Phone call from pharmacist can reduce some hospital admissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409134318.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins