Pharmacists may hold the key to lower readmissions

Pharmacists can play a role in reducing hospital readmissions for older patients who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure (HF) by taking part in a coordinated hospital discharge system and offering medication reconciliation and education, according to Pharmacy Practice News. The article reports hospitals can reduce readmissions for patients with COPD and HF if they offer comprehensive pre-discharge planning with attention to seamless transition and continuity of care, patient education about medications and compliance, daily living skills, transportation and nutritional support. Sean Jeffery, a clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, Storrs, and a clinical pharmacist in geriatrics for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, told Pharmacy Practice News he is shocked by the number of patients with COPD who don't know how to use their inhalers. "You cannot assume that because someone has a COPD medicine that they know how to use it or are using it properly," he said. Article