Background: Early hospital readmissions are a challenging and costly experience for both patients and the healthcare service. Reducing hospital readmission rates is a priority for health services globally and this is evident with the establishment of multiple outpatient services to promote early follow-up and to initiate secondary preventative care measures. One such intervention has been the introduction of a pharmacist-led, Hospital Outreach Medication Review (HOMR) service. However, the demand for the service has meant reaching this target has become an increasingly ambitious goal within allocated resources.
Objective: To validate a risk-stratification tool to identify low-risk patients in whom a telephone medication review would be a safe and effective alternative to a home-based review.
Method: A risk tool was derived and applied to a retrospective sample to act as the parent cohort. A prospective cohort was stratified into low and high-risk based on this tool, and received either a telephone or a traditional home medication review respectively.
Results: 235 patients were included in final analysis (n = 113 prospective, n = 122 baseline controls). High-risk patients were more likely to be readmitted at 60 and 90 days in the baseline cohort (9/38 vs 7/84, p = 0.04 and 11/38 vs 9/84, p = 0.02 respectively), with a trend towards increased readmissions at 30 days (5/38 vs 3/84, p = 0.11). Logistic regression identified the risk tool as an independent predictor of hospital readmission (IRR 1.18, p = 0.04), whereas age and Charlson comorbidity were not (p = 0.80 and 0.31 respectively). There was no significant difference between the new model (incorporating phone reviews) and the parent cohort (p = 0.25).
Conclusion: Our risk score was able to identify those at highest risk of hospital readmission at 60 and 90 days. Utilising this risk score, a telephone HOMR for low-risk patients was a safe and efficient alternative to a traditional home review.
- Hospital outreach medication review
- Hospital pharmacist
- Medication therapy management service