Walgreens Program Employs Pharmacists to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Author: Daniel Weiss, Senior Editor
In the program, called WellTransitions, pharmacists work with hospital staff to oversee the medication regimens of discharged patients.
Walgreens has announced a new transition of care program featuring pharmacists in a key role that aims to reduce readmission rates along with overall health care costs, while improving patient health outcomes and medication adherence. The program, called WellTransitions
, is being rolled out as hospitals face pressure to keep readmission rates for Medicare patients low or pay penalties, which went into effect on October 1, 2012.
As part of the program, Walgreens pharmacists work with hospital staff to oversee the medication regimens of discharged patients. The services offered by the program include: medication review upon admission and discharge from the hospital; bedside medication delivery, including medication education and instruction; counseling for patients and their caregivers; regularly scheduled follow-up calls once patients are discharged; and 24-7 support for discharged patients from pharmacists via phone or the Internet. Pharmacists also help ensure that patients in the program follow up with their primary doctor and that they maintain self-care.
WellTransitions is currently available to patients at locations including Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Florida, Washington Adventist Hospital in Maryland, and Marion General Hospital in Indiana. In the future, Walgreens plans to introduce it to many of the more than 150 hospitals and health systems where it operates outpatient pharmacies.