4 Ways Hospital Pharmacists Can Help Improve Post-Acute Care Coordination

JUNE 13, 2016
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
Pharmacists are the crux of successful care transitions between hospitals and post-acute care facilities.
Health systems have a renewed interest in ensuring high quality of care provided in lower-cost, post-acute care settings like skilled nursing facilities, home care, and long-term care, and more effective collaboration is a critical component of this mission.
Here are a few ways pharmacists can do their part to help improve post-acute care coordination:
1. Perform medication reconciliation during all transitions of care.
No one in any care facility is better trained to review medication lists and identify any potential problems than the pharmacist.
A prescription that may have been necessary at one stage of a patient’s care may not be necessary after a care transition. Failure to deprescribe medications that are contributing to adverse side effects can have serious consequences, including worsening of a disease state or increased mortality.
Medication reconciliation may be less likely to happen when a patient moves from a hospital to a post-acute care facility because health care providers in one setting may assume that their counterparts in the next setting have or will perform the task.
Pharmacists can help correct this problem by completing medication reconciliation across the care continuum to ensure effective patient transitions to and from post-acute care facilities.