June 20, 2014

When patients are discharged from the hospital, they are given many instructions on follow-up care to continue the healing at home. Most patients will have prescriptions for medications they need to continue taking once they leave.

When you are headed home after a stay in the hospital, the last thing you want to do is have to drop off a prescription at the pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. That’s why CAMC is piloting a new process to fill the medications the patient needs before they ever leave the hospital.

In reviewing patient survey data, Kevin Parker, RPh and director of the employee/outpatient pharmacy at CAMC Memorial Hospital, found that many patients said they were not sure how to take their medications after discharge, or even what the medications were for. Parker saw this as a major gap in the care process and worked with nurse manager Sherri Keffer to come up with a way to better prepare patients for caring for themselves once recovering at home.

When patients are discharged from 4 South at Memorial Hospital, the nurse offers them the opportunity to get their prescriptions filled before leaving the hospital. A pharmacist from Parker’s department delivers the medication to the patient and counsels the patient on how to properly take the medication, what the side effects are, and the possible drug interactions with any additional medications the patient might be taking.

“This individualized attention not only makes it more convenient for the patient, but it will hopefully reduce the likelihood of readmission and speed up the recovery process,”
Parker said.

The outpatient pharmacy team is in the process of expanding this project hospital-wide so that all patients being discharged will have access to the services the department can provide.

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