Primary care physician communication at hospital discharge reduces medication discrepancies.J Hosp Med 2013; 8(12):672-7JH
Medication discrepancies are common as patients transition from hospital to home. Errors with post-discharge medication regimens may play a role in hospital readmissions.
To determine whether primary care physician (PCP) contact with patients at hospital discharge impacts the frequency of medication discrepancies at 24 hours post-discharge.
With the PCP-Enhanced Discharge Communication Intervention, PCPs were asked to speak with treating hospitalists and contact patients within 24 hours of hospital discharge (either in person or by phone) to discuss any hospital medication changes. Research staff enrolled subjects during their hospitalization and telephoned subjects 48 hours post-discharge to determine medication discrepancies and PCP contact.
One hundred fourteen community-dwelling adults, admitted to acute medicine services >24 hours on ≥ 5 medications.
Of the 114 subjects enrolled in the hospital, 75 subjects completed 48 hours postdischarge phone interviews. Of the 75 study patients, 39 patients (50.6%) experienced a total of 84 medication discrepancies (mean, 2.1 discrepancies/patient). Subjects who were contacted by their PCP at discharge were 70% less likely to have a discrepancy when compared with those not contacted (P = 0.04). Males were 4.34 times more likely to have a discrepancy (P = 0.02).
PCP communication with patients within 24 hours of discharge was associated with decreased medication discrepancies. Our results further demonstrate the importance of PCP involvement in the hospital discharge process.