OBJECTIVES: This is a randomized controlled trial that aims to evaluate the impact of pharmacist-led discharge counseling on reducing pharmacotherapy problems in the 30-day postdischarge period of cardiology patients from a tertiary hospital in Brazil. METHODS: At discharge, two cardiovascular pharmacy residents performed a medication counseling session with the intervention group, and the follow-up was performed by telephone (3 and 15 days after discharge). The number of pharmacotherapy problems was evaluated during a pharmacist-led ambulatory consultation 30 days after discharge. RESULTS: A total of 66 and 67 patients were randomized to the intervention and control groups, respectively, but only 51 patients were analyzed in each group, all with similar baseline characteristics. The intervention group had significantly fewer pharmacotherapy problems compared to the control (p<0.001), and 100% of the patients had at least one problem. We observed five problems significantly more frequently in the control group: “incorrect time of taking” (p=0.003), “use higher dose of medication” (p=0.007), “use lower dose of medication” (p=0.014), “restart discontinued medication” (p=0.011), and “underdosing prescription” (p=0.009). Simvastatin, enalapril, carvedilol, and atorvastatin were the medications more associated with pharmacotherapy problems. CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that pharmacist-led discharge counseling should be an indispensable service, as patients exhibited less pharmacotherapy problems in the 30-day postdischarge period, especially related to drug administration and adherence.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of pharmacist-provided discharge counseling on mortality rate, hospital readmissions, emergency department visits, and medication adherence at 30 days post discharge. METHODS: This randomized controlled trial was approved by the local ethics committee and included patients aged 18 years or older admitted to the cardiology ward of a Brazilian tertiary hospital. The intervention group received a pharmacist-led medication counseling session at discharge and a telephone follow-up three and 15 days after discharge. The outcomes included the number of deaths, hospital readmissions, emergency department visits, and medication adherence. All outcomes were evaluated during a pharmacist-led ambulatory consultation performed 30 days after discharge. RESULTS: Of 133 patients, 104 were included in the analysis (51 and 53 in the intervention and control groups, respectively). The intervention group had a lower overall readmission rate, number of emergency department visits, and mortality rate, but the differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). However, the intervention group had a significantly lower readmission rate related to heart disease (0% vs. 11.3%, p=0.027), despite the small sample size. Furthermore, medication counseling contributed significantly to improved medication adherence according to three different tools (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacist-provided discharge medication counseling resulted in better medication adherence scores and a lower incidence of cardiovascular-associated hospital readmissions, thus representing a useful service for cardiology patients.