Facilitating Home Hospice Transitions of Care in Oncology: Evaluation of Clinical Pharmacists’ Interventions, Hospice Program Satisfaction, and Patient Representation Rates

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Abstract

Background:

The importance of medication reconciliation and the pharmacist’s role within the interdisciplinary team at the point of transition to home hospice is understudied. A transitions of care pilot initiative was developed to streamline the transition for patients at end of life from inpatient cancer center care to home hospice. The initiative consisted of using a hospice discharge checklist, pharmacist-led discharge medication reconciliation in consultation with the primary team responsible for inpatient care, review of discharge prescriptions, and facilitation of bedside delivery of discharge medications.

Methods:

This was a single-center, prospective, pilot initiative. The objectives of this study were to characterize pharmacist interventions at the time of transition, to assess changes in hospice organizations’ perceptions of discharge readiness, and to evaluate differences in representation rates with the implementation of the pilot discharge process.

Results:

Fifteen patients in the preimplementation period and 12 patients in the postimplementation period were included. One hundred eleven pharmacist interventions were captured, an average of 9.3 interventions per patient, with an acceptance rate of 82.9% by providers. There was a statistically significant (P = .035) improvement in hospice organizations’ perceptions of discharge readiness. There was no difference in 30-day representation rates postdischarge (P = 1).

Conclusion:

This well-received pilot initiative demonstrated an improvement in local hospice’s perception of patient readiness for discharge and a high percentage of accepted pharmacist interventions during discharge medication reconciliation. A larger sample size of patients and longer follow-up period may be needed to demonstrate statistically significant improvements in representation rates postintervention.

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