In this single center interventional study, researchers employed “nurse discharge advocates” to perform several in-hospital functions (medication reconciliation, ensuring PCP follow up, education of diagnoses and medications, assess health literacy, etc) and a pharmacist post-discharge (phone call 2-4 days later to review medications, answer questions, relay information to PCP, etc). The nurse spent about 90 minutes per patients, and the pharmacist spent 30 minutes per patient. The researchers found the intervention patients had fewer hospital utilizations in the 30 days post-discharge, for a cost savings of $412 per patient. What strikes me most about this is how much time it actually takes to “do it right”. This article is worth reading (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.