Embedded pharmacists in general practice can reduce hospital re-admissions

25 Feb 2021

New research has found that the integration of pharmacists into general practice teams to review medication management lowered the number of emergency department presentations for recently discharged patients.  

The study – published in the Medical Journal of Australia – recruited patients from 14 Australian general practices who had recently been discharged from public hospitals through the Reducing Medical Admissions into Hospital through Optimising Medicines (REMAIN HOME) trial. Members of the intervention group had a face-to-face medicine management consultation with an integrated pharmacist within 7 days of their hospital discharge, followed by a consultation with their GP and further pharmacist consultations as needed. 

During the 12-months following hospital discharge, ED presentation incidence and combined re-admission and ED presentation incidence were significantly lower for the intervention group compared with control patients (54% and 31% lower, respectively). The estimated incremental net cost benefit of the intervention was $5072 per patient, with a benefit‒cost ratio of 31:1. 

The authors concluded that the collaborative GP and pharmacist model of post-hospital discharge medicines management can reduce hospital use resulting in significant cost savings to the healthcare system.