Hospital referral of older patients to community pharmacy: outcome measures in a feasibility study

Helen Ramsbottom, Ray Fitzpatrick, Paul Rutter

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Background: Post-discharge medication use reviews in English community pharmacy aim to improve medicine support to recently discharged patients. However, there is little evidence of their impact on patient outcomes.

Objective: Identify potential outcome measures to investigate the impact of a hospital to community pharmacy referral service for older patients that utilises post-discharge medication reviews.

Method: Pharmacists at a district general hospital identified in-patients aged over 65 years who could benefit from a medication use review. Participants were randomised to receive referral for review, or standard discharge care. Participants were followed up at 4 weeks and 6 months via the hospital’s patient administration system and by postal questionnaire, regarding readmissions, medication adherence, health related quality of life and enablement.

Results: Fifty-nine participants were recruited. There were no statistically significant differences in outcomes between intervention and control groups. However there were trends towards shorter length of stay on readmission and improved self-reported physical health for intervention group participants. There were no preventable medication related readmissions involving participants who had received a post-discharge medication use review as part of the study.

Conclusion: This feasibility study could be scaled up to a full pilot study, followed by an adequately powered randomised controlled trial, in order to further investigate the effects of medication use review referral post-discharge.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Early online date18 Jan 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 18 Jan 2020


  • community pharmacy
  • hospital discharge
  • measurement of outcomes
  • medication review
  • United Kingdom


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