Walgreens Pharmacist-Based Discharge Services Help to Reduce Readmissions

A new pharmacist-based transition of care program brings hospitals and health systems together with Walgreens in a coordinated care model designed to reduce readmission rates and overall healthcare costs, while improving patient health outcomes and medication adherence, according to Walgreens.

The personalized WellTransitions℠ program is being rolled out as thousands of hospitals nationwide face possible penalties from Medicare for patient readmission rates that are too high.

The new program offers a number of services, including:

  • Medication review: pharmacists review patients’ prescriptions upon admission to the hospital and at discharge; check for potential interactions and simplification of medication regimen;
  • Bedside medication delivery: Walgreens pharmacy staff member delivers medication the patient will need to take after discharge to the patient’s room and offers medication education and instruction;
  • Patient counseling: pharmacists provide medication counseling to both the patient and caregiver and work in close communication with the medical staff;
  • Regularly-scheduled follow-up calls: pharmacists conduct regular calls to follow up on patient progress, discuss regimen and answer any questions or concerns;
  • 24/7 pharmacist support: pharmacy staff is available to answer patient questions 24/7 either over the phone or online.

Pharmacists also work with patients to ensure they’ve scheduled an appointment with their primary care physician and to reinforce important self-care principles, such as checking their weight daily and reporting any significant fluctuations to their doctor.

WellTransitions is now available to patients at a growing number of locations, including Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Fla., Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., and Marion General Hospital in Marion, Ind. As many hospitals and medical centers place a greater emphasis on reducing patient readmissions, Walgreens aims to broadly roll out the program to other facilities throughout the United States, including many of the more than 150 hospitals and health systems where Walgreens operates an outpatient pharmacy.

Source: Walgreens, October 16, 2012

27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use

27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use details provider and patient-focused interventions that target the high numbers of avoidable visits, high and ultra-high utilizers and the sub-populations noted for frequent ER use. Five interventions target these sub-populations: asthma patients, those recently discharged from the hospital, non-network patients, nursing home and assisted living residents and dual-eligibles.

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