Making sure patients and their primary caregivers are ready for the return home is critical in the recovery process. Lourdes has partnered with the inpatient pharmacy to expand its multi-disciplinary care at the bedside. Adding a pharmacist to the team helps ensure patients and their families are receiving education regarding the importance of compliance with medication regimens.
The month of March 2012, marked the one year anniversary of the new program. Patients and family members now can speak directly with an inpatient pharmacist during their hospital stay.
“The hospital experience can be overwhelming for patients and their caregivers with a lot of information to process in a short time,” said Laura Madison, Pharm.D, and Director of the Lourdes Pharmacy. “Patients welcome the opportunity to clarify any questions they have regarding their medications with a pharmacist.”
Every day, Lourdes inpatient pharmacists are actively reviewing patients’ medication profiles, closely following lab values and reviewing patient medical histories to make recommendations on drug therapies. Involving the patient in this process allows them to be an active participant in their care and equips them to be successful in managing their medications after discharge. More than 5,000 patients have received education since the program started in 2011.
“Our focus has been to ensure patients’ questions are answered about new medications they are receiving and emphasize the importance of compliance with their medications at home.”
A Consumer Reports poll found that of 2,038 people, 16 percent don’t fill prescriptions and 12 percent skipped a dose without checking in with the doctor or pharmacist. Medication mistakes can land discharged patients right back in the hospital. About 20 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients – or about 1 in 5 – are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Medication noncompliance can play a major role in hospital readmission,” Madison said. “We feel access to a hospital pharmacist at the bedside reinforces the message that patients have better outcomes when they partner with the healthcare team and learn how to manage their condition.”
Lourdes is the only hospital in the region offering this service to their inpatients. To date, 60% of the pharmacy team is cross-trained to provide clinical services.
“Our pharmacists have been blessed by the opportunity to be more engaged in patient care.” states Madison. “The transition from dispensing to clinical intervention has improved job satisfaction by allowing them to utilize their training to make a difference in patient care.”
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