Evaluation of a multidisciplinary approach to reduce internal medicine readmissions using a readmission prediction index.

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American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists


PURPOSE: Readmission prediction indices are used to stratify patients by the risk of hospital readmission. We describe the integration of a 30-day hospital readmission prediction index into the electronic medical record (EMR) and its impact on pharmacist interventions during transitions of care (TOC).

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to compare 30-day readmission rates between adult internal medicine inpatients admitted by a multidisciplinary team providing TOC services (the TOC group) and those who received usual care (the control group). Interventions by a pharmacist serving on the TOC team were guided by an EMR-integrated readmission index, with patients at the highest risk for readmission receiving targeted pharmacist interventions. Inpatient encounters (n = 374) during the 5-month study period were retrospectively identified. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to analyze differences in nominal and nonparametric continuous variables, respectively. Logistic regression was performed to identify variables associated with 30-day readmissions. The log-rank test was used to analyze hazard ratios for readmission outcomes in the 2 cohorts.

RESULTS: Thirty-day readmission rates did not differ significantly in the TOC group and the control group (20.9% vs 18.3%, P = 0.52). However, patients who received additional direct pharmacist interventions, as guided by use of a hospital readmission index, had a lower 30-day readmission rate than patients who did not (11.4% vs 21.7%, P = 0.04). The readmission index score was significantly associated with the likelihood of 30-day readmission (odds ratio for readmission, 1.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.34; P < 0.01). The difference in unadjusted log-rank scores at 30 days with and without pharmacist intervention was not significant (P = 0.05). A mean of 4.5 medication changes were identified per medication reconciliation performed by the TOC pharmacist.

CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary TOC team approach did not reduce the 30-day readmission rate on an internal medicine service. However, patients who received additional direct pharmacist interventions guided by a readmission prediction index had a reduced readmission rate.





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