In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Lower Manhattan Hospital faced multiple challenges.
Studies show that home visits to patients recently discharged from the hospital can help prevent unnecessary readmission.1 Providing continuing care instructions to patients in their homes—where they may be less overwhelmed than in the hospital—may also be a key mechanism for preventing readmission.2 Home visit clinicians and technicians can note any health concerns in the home environment and help patients understand their care plan in the context of that environment.2
A 77-year-old man was diagnosed with a rectal mass. After discussing goals of care with an oncologist, he declined surgical intervention and underwent targeted radiotherapy before being lost to follow up. The patient subsequently presented to Emergency Department after a fall at home and was found to have new metastatic lesions in both lungs and numerous enhancing lesions in the brain. Further discussions of the goals of care revealed that the patient desired to focus on comfort and on maintaining independence for as long as possible. The inpatient hospice team discussed the potential role
This piece discusses the critical role community pharmacists play in ensuring medication safety.
Georgia Galanou Luchen, Pharm. D., is the Director of Member Relations at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In this role, she leads initiatives related to community pharmacy practitioners and their impact throughout the care continuum. We spoke with her about different types of community pharmacists and the role they play in ensuring patient safety.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; September 9, 2021.
ECHO-Care Transitions (ECHO-CT) intends to ensure continuity of care and alleviate the risk of patient safety issues, notably medication errors, occurring because of hospital transition. With funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) adapted Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) to connect receiving multidisciplinary skilled nursing facility (SNF) teams with a multidisciplinary team at the discharging hospital.
The MOQI seeks to reduce avoidable hospitalization among nursing home residents by placing an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) within the care team with the goal of early identification of resident decline. In addition to the APRN, the MOQI involves nursing home teams focused on use of tools to better detect acute changes in resident status, smoother transitions between hospitals and nursing homes, end-of-life care, and use of health information technology to facilitate communication with peers. As a result of the innovation, resident hospitalizations declined.
Project Nurture provides patients with substance use disorder (SUD) prenatal care, inpatient maternity care, postpartum care, and infant pediatric care. Women enrolled in the program receive Level 1 addiction treatment (i.e., outpatient services) from an integrated care team that includes MDs, nurse practitioners, doulas, certified recovery mentors, certified alcohol and drug counselors, and social workers and other mental health professionals. If indicated, they can also receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using methadone or buprenorphine.
Morris S, O’Hara J. Pharmacuetical Journal. February 26, 2021.
Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 5, 2021. Report No. 20-01521-48.
The team at Geisinger sought to develop an outpatient addiction medicine specialty program that incorporated medication-assisted treatment (MAT), peer support, and connection to community counseling services that also uses data-driven insights to monitor and improve patient outcomes. As a result of this program, they have been able to reduce all-cause mortality among these patients, increase patient engagement in substance use disorder treatment, and have seen a reduction in the prescription quantities of controlled substances.
After a breast mass was identified by a physician assistant during a routine visit, a 60-year-old woman received a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. The radiology assessment was challenging due to dense breast tissue and ultimately interpreted as “probably benign” findings. When the patient returned for follow-up 5 months later, the mass had increased in size and she was referred for a biopsy.