Impact of pharmacy student and resident-led discharge counseling on heart failure patients

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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Many health systems have implemented interventions to reduce the rate of heart failure readmissions. Pharmacists have the training and expertise to provide effective medication-related education. However, few studies have examined the impact of discharge education provided by pharmacy students and residents on patients hospitalized with heart failure exacerbations.


This was a nonrandomized intervention study evaluating the impact of a pharmacy student and resident-led discharge counseling program on heart failure readmissions. The primary end point was the 30-day heart failure readmission rate. Secondary end points included self-reported patient understanding of medications, number of medication errors documented, and estimated associated cost avoidance.


A total of 86 and 94 patients were enrolled into the intervention and control groups, respectively. No statistically significant difference in readmission rates was detected between the intervention and the control groups. Thirty-four medication errors and discrepancies were documented, or 1 for every 2.5 patients counseled, resulting in an estimated cost avoidance of $4241 for the institution. Eighty-nine percent of patients who received discharge counseling agreed they had a better understanding of their medications after speaking with a pharmacy resident or student.


There was no statistically significant difference in readmission rates; however, several medication errors were prevented, and a large percentage of patients expressed an improved understanding of their medications.