Abstract

Objective

This study aimed to determine whether pharmacist-provided home-based medication review (HBMR) can reduce readmissions in the elderly.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting

Patient's home.

Participants

Records of patients referred to a care transition program from March 2011 through March 2015 were reviewed. Patients aged 60 years and older taking more than 5 medications and had at least 2 unplanned admissions within 3 months preceding the first home visit were included.

Intervention

Pharmacist-provided HBMR.

Main outcome measures

Primary outcome was readmission rate over 6 months after the first home visit. Secondary outcomes included emergency department (ED) visits, outpatient visits and mortality. Drug-related problems (DRPs) were reported for the HBMR group. Multivariate incidence rate ratios (IRR) and hazard ratio (HR) were calculated with adjustments for covariates.

Results

The study included 499 patients (97 HBMR, 402 no HBMR). Pharmacist-provided HBMR reduced readmissions by 26% (IRR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.59–0.92, P = 0.007), reduced ED visits by 20% (IRR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.66–0.98, P = 0.030) and increased outpatient visits by 16% (IRR = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.95–1.41, P = 0.150). There were 8 and 44 deaths in the HBMR and no HBMR groups respectively (HR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.29–1.81, P = 0.492). Pharmacists identified 464 DRPs, with 169 (36.4%) resolved within 1 month after the home visit.

Conclusions

The study suggests that pharmacist-provided HBMR is effective in reducing readmissions and ED visits in the elderly. More studies in the Asian population are needed to determine its long term benefits and patient's acceptability.

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