A prospective study of medication management during transitions from hospital to residential care: a 10-year follow-up to the MedGap study

Rohan A. Elliott, Yvonne Boutros, Tim Tran, Simone E. Taylor

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Problems with continuity of medication administration after discharge from hospitals to residential care facilities (RCFs) have been reported in Australia and internationally. The MedGap study in 2009 reported a significant decline in post-discharge missed or delayed doses and locum doctor call-outs at RCFs following implementation of a hospital pharmacy-prepared interim residential care medication administration chart (IRCMAC). Aim: To determine whether reductions in missed or delayed doses and locum doctor call-outs were sustained nearly 10 years after the IRCMAC was implemented, and evaluate RCFs' use of IRCMACs and discharge medications supplied in original packaging. Method: Structured telephone interviews with nurses at 52 RCFs were conducted approximately 48-h after discharge for randomly selected patients discharged from hospitals within a major metropolitan health service in Melbourne, Australia in 2018. Results were compared with pre- and post-intervention data collected using the same method in 2009. Primary endpoints were the proportion of patients for whom the RCF used the hospital-supplied IRCMAC and discharge medications, and the incidence of missed or significantly delayed medication doses in the first 24 h post-discharge. The number of locum doctor call-outs was a secondary endpoint. Results: RCFs received IRCMACs for 71/73 (97.3%) patients and used them for 61/71 (85.9%). Hospital-supplied medication, in original packaging, was received for 65/73 (89.0%) patients and used for 59/65 (90.8%). One or more doses were missed or significantly delayed for 2/73 (2.7%) patients and locum doctors were called for nine patients (12.3%), which was similar to the 2009 post-intervention study (6/226, 2.7% and 25/226, 11.1%, respectively) and significantly lower than the 2009 pre-intervention study (37/202, 18.3% and 66/202, 32.7%, respectively; P < 0.01 for both endpoints). Nearly 100% of RCF staff believed IRCMACs and hospital-supplied medication improved continuity of care. Conclusion: Hospital pharmacy-prepared IRCMACs and discharge medication in original packaging were highly used and valued by RCF staff, and associated with sustained low rates of missed and delayed doses and locum doctor call-outs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • continuity of patient care
  • medication errors
  • nurses
  • nursing homes
  • patient transfer
  • pharmacists
  • physicians
  • primary care

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