The American Hospital Association recognized the program, in which pharmacists work alongside hospital staff, for reducing readmissions through improved medication adherence.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced on September 16, 2013, that it is endorsing the Walgreens WellTransitions program
, recognizing its success in improving medication adherence and helping to reduce hospital readmissions.
AHA Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of AHA, awards its endorsement to products and services that effectively support hospitals and health care organizations. After a careful selection process, the WellTransitions program was chosen for its efforts to reduce the rate of avoidable readmissions, a top concern for many hospitals.
To reduce readmission rates and overall health care costs, WellTransitions, launched last year, includes pharmacists in a coordinated care model to help hospital patients transition to their homes after discharge
. As part of the program, Walgreens pharmacists work alongside hospital staff to review medications upon admission and discharge, deliver medications at bedside, counsel patients and caregivers, and offer medication education and instruction. Pharmacists in the program also conduct regularly scheduled follow-up calls with discharged patients and are available at all hours every day of the week to support these patients over the phone or via the Internet. During follow-up communications, the pharmacists also help ensure patients are in contact with their primary care physician and that they maintain self-care.
The program has already been shown to help reduce readmission rates. Walgreens announced that early results indicate that within the first 6 months that WellTransitions was operational in 5 hospitals, the unadjusted 30-day readmission rate for patients in the program was 9.4%, compared with 14.3% for patients not participating in the program.
“The Walgreens WellTransitions program will serve as another tool for hospitals seeking to reduce readmissions and support overall community wellness,” said Anthony J. Burke, president and CEO of AHA Solutions in a press release
. “We have endorsed this program for the broad scope of services that are provided through Walgreens extensive network of pharmacies and pharmacy services. Walgreens has consistently demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting hospitals’ efforts to extend patient care further into their communities.”
So far, WellTransitions has been implemented in more than 15 hospitals and is set to be expanded to a number of other hospitals throughout the country as well. Walgreens plans to conduct a formal research study to better evaluate the program’s effect on hospital readmission rates.