Transitions of care can be difficult to manage and if not performed properly, can lead to increased readmissions and poor outcomes. Transitions are more complex when patients are discharged to skilled nursing facilities.
We assessed the impact of pharmacist-led initiatives, including medication reconciliation, on readmission rates between an academic medical center and a local skilled nursing facility (SNF).
We conducted a two-phase quality improvement project focusing on pharmacist-led medication reconciliation at different points in the transition process. All-cause 30-day readmission rates, medication reconciliation completion rates, and total pharmacist interventions were compared between the 2 groups.
The combined intervention and baseline cohorts resulted in a 29.8% relative reduction (14.5% vs. 20.6%) in readmission rates. Medication reconciliation was completed on 93.8% of SNF admitted patients in the first phase and 97.7% of patients in the second phase. Pharmacist interventions per reconciliation were 2.39 in the first phase compared with 1.82 in the second phase.
Pharmacist-led medication reconciliation can contribute to reduction of hospital readmissions from SNFs and is an essential part of the SNF transition process.