Patients taking lots of medication are at a higher risk of medication related problems such as interactions and adverse effects. This is a particular issue after admission to hospital as often there are several new or changes to medicines. During the 2018/19 year, the results from a post-discharge from hospital follow-up study were fully analysed by MOIC with assistance from researchers at Queen’s University Belfast.
In the study, patients (n=211) discharged from hospital on multiple medications were followed up by a clinical pharmacist by telephone at 5, 30 and 90 days post-discharge. The results indicated that those receiving such telephone calls had a:
- 9.9% reduction in 30 day readmission rates.
- 15.2% reduction in 90 day readmission rates.
- Positive health economic benefit, with return in investment at £51 per £1 spent at 30 days.
- High level patient satisfaction.
Following the positive results observed, funding was applied for under the Northern Ireland Transformation Funding programme and this was awarded during 2019 to roll this initiative out as a service in Antrim Area Hospital.
Since the roll out in September 2019 feedback from patients has been extremely positive. 73% of patients said they felt more confident about their medications after the calls and 82% said they would recommend it to a friend.
The below quotes are from patients that have received the telephone discharge service.
“Brilliant service as you are so weak and low and it helps to have a real person in contact with you so you can ask and clarify questions.”
“I really appreciated the follow-up after my discharge from hospital. I know how busy my local doctors are….. I don’t know how long you offered this service after discharge but personally I was glad of it, so thank you.”
“Really thought it was a great idea. Felt somebody cared.”
“Pharmacist very helpful. Nice to have a follow up and help from the discharge team after a stay in hospital.