Case Management

Sneak peek: More must be done to reduce frequency of medication-related readmissions

Case Management Weekly, October 7, 2012

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that one potential reason for these readmission woes is that some facilities aren't adopting best practices that help prevent them, according to a press release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

 The study, "Contemporary Evidence About Hospital Strategies for Reducing 30-Day Readmissions," included data from more than 500 hospitals that participated in a quality improvement initiative by the ACC and Hospital to Home (H2H). The study found that hospitals are performing well on a portion of 10 recommended readmission prevention practices for two conditions: heart failure and acute myocardial infarction. For example, a majority of facilities created readmission prevention programs for heart failure patients and adopted multidisciplinary teams to manage patients with risk factors for readmission. However, fewer facilities were following recommended strategies related to medication adherence. 

The study found that 14% of facilities didn't assign medication reconciliation responsibilities to a specific individual, the ACC said in its press release. Failure to assign this task to a specific individual made proper reconciliation less likely. In addition, only 3.2% of study participants followed the H2H-recommended step of contacting the patient's outside pharmacy to improve medication-related communication.

 Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the November Case Management Monthly published by HCPro, Inc.

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