Scheduling of Pharmacist-Provided Medication Education for Hospitalized Patients

Calabrese, Amy; Eunjin Yang; Mark, Scott M.; Sirio, Carl A.; Weber, Robert J.
February 2008
Hospital Pharmacy;Feb2008, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p121
Academic Journal
Purpose: In a comprehensive medication-education program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, pharmacists provide medication education for hospitalized patients at high risk for nonadherence. This study assessed whether patients' ability to recall medication information after hospital discharge was influenced by the timing of education. Methods: Patients who received medication education from pharmacists during a 10-week period were included. Patients were called 2 to 3 days after discharge and were asked to recall the indication, name, dose, frequency, and side effects for 2 medications that were reviewed by the pharmacist. After grouping patients by number of days between education and discharge, recall accuracy was compared between the groups. Results: Of 270 patients who received education, 100 patients met inclusion criteria and were available for telephone follow-up. The highest recall responses were for frequency of administration (88%), medication name (78%), indication (78%), and dose (75%). In contrast, side effects were accurately recalled by only 34% of the patients. No significant differences were seen between the percentage of patients accurately recalling medication information and the time that education occurred; however, patients educated on the day of discharge tended to recall medication information less accurately. Conclusion: Patients educated on the day of discharge did not recall medication information better than those educated prior to the day of discharge. It may be advantageous for medication education to occur 2 to 3 days prior to hospital discharge. Side-effect information was poorly retained; different strategies must be employed to improve patient recall of side effects.


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