Evaluation of the Influence of a Pharmacist-led Patient-Centered Medication Therapy Management and Reconciliation Service in Collaboration with Emergency Department Physicians

AUTHORS: Arinze Nkemdirim Okere, Colleen M. Renier, James J. Tomsche



BACKGROUND: The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is anticipated to increase the frequency of emergency department (ED) visits. Therefore, there is a critical need to improve the quality of care transitions among ED patients from ED to outpatient services. 

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of systematic implementation of a pharmacist-led patient-centered approach to medication therapy management and reconciliation service (MRS) in the ED on patient utilization of available health care services.

METHODS: A single institution prospective randomized cohort study with 90-day postvisit observation randomized patients into 2 groups:
(1) medication therapy management reconciliation service following a patient-centered approach (MRS) or (2) usual care provided by the institution (non-MRS). To align patient enrollment with availability of other primary care services, subjects were enrolled during weekday daytime hours. Data for the 90 days before and after the index ED visit were matched in all analyses. Generalized estimating equations evaluated any primary care (PC), urgent care (UC), and ED visits during the 90 days post-index ED visit, adjusted by age and sex and weighted by survival time. Generalized linear models evaluated the average number of ED visits during that period, adjusted by age and sex and weighted by survival time. Data were analyzed for all adult patients (ADLTS), aged ≥ 18 years, and the subpopulation taking 1 or more prescribed daily medication at the time of the index ED visit (ADLTS1+)—the patients expected to receive greatest benefit from an MRS program.

RESULTS: ADLTS MRS patients were 1.9 more likely than non-MRS patients to visit their PC providers (mean difference 0.15, P < 0.001). Similarly, ADLTS1+ MRS patients were 1.5 times more likely to visit their PC providers (mean difference 0.10, P = 0.026). Although ADLT MRS patients were less likely to visit the UC, this was not significant. However, ADLTS1+ MRS patients were significantly less likely than non-MRS patients (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3-0.9) to visit the UC. No significant difference was seen in ED visits.

CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of a patient-centered approach to medication therapy management and reconciliation improved the odds of patients visiting their PC providers, a positive first step in transitioning patients toward an appropriate use of PC services. 

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