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Discharge Plan Cuts Hospital Readmissions, Patient Costs
Date:2/4/2009

ent of RED program patients who completed the medication review with the pharmacist had at least one problem with their drugs. In half of those cases, the pharmacist needed to contact the patient's doctor or take other corrective action.

The study, funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Currently, about 20 percent of patients have a complication or adverse event after they're discharged from hospital. Often, this is due to a lack of knowledge about their follow-up care.

"Because a hospital stay can be a confusing and stressful time for patients, it's important that clinicians make sure patients are prepared to leave the hospital understanding the information they need to recover at home. This study shows us that, with some planning, hospitals can better prepare their patients to avoid complications and reduce unnecessary and costly readmissions," AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, said in an agency news release.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has more about patient safety after hospital discharge.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, Feb. 2, 2009


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