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Pilot study to assess the influence of an enhanced medication plan on patient knowledge at hospital discharge

Abstract

Purpose

This study assessed the effect of providing an enhanced medication plan (EMP) to patients during patient-physician conversation at hospital discharge and evaluated its immediate impact on patient knowledge on pharmacotherapy.

Methods

We observed patient-physician conversations at hospital discharge in three internal medicine wards of the University Hospital Heidelberg before and after the EMP was integrated into the discharge process, and documented how and to what extent physicians provided the patients with drug information. After the conversation, the patients’ knowledge was evaluated by three standardized questions about their pharmacotherapy.

Results

We observed 90 conversations (50 before EMP-implementation, 40 after). In both phases, the conversation duration was 5.6–6 min (p = 0.56). However, the time spent on drug information increased significantly by 61.7 % after EMP-implementation (+63 s, p = 0.02). Before implementation, physicians gave at least one drug administration recommendation for 75.1 % of all drugs, compared to 84.6 % after implementation (p = 0.02). The EMP provided information for almost all drugs (98.9 %; p < 0.01) after implementation. Three times more patients answered all questions correctly after EMP-implementation (p < 0.01).

Conclusion

The provision of an EMP improves information transfer and therefore increases the patients’ knowledge of their individual drug treatment without prolonging the overall discharge process.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all patients and physicians of the University Hospital Heidelberg participating in the study, and Kathrin I. Foerster and Bernadette Graf for assisting in the data acquisition.

Funding

This work was supported by the young scientists’ program of the German network ‘Health Services Research Baden-Württemberg’ of the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Order, Family, Women and Senior Citizens, Baden-Württemberg.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest with regard to this paper except as otherwise provided in the funding section.

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Correspondence to Hanna Marita Seidling.

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Send, A.F.J., Schwab, M., Gauss, A. et al. Pilot study to assess the influence of an enhanced medication plan on patient knowledge at hospital discharge. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 70, 1243–1250 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-014-1723-9

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Keywords

  • Drug information
  • Patient education
  • Discharge process
  • Patient knowledge