Shoppers Drug Mart study to test transitional care model

November 25, 2014

Canada's Shoppers Drug Mart is conducting a pilot project to help patients avoid medication errors and reduce hospital readmissions.

Toronto, Ontario-based Shoppers Drug Mart is conducting a pilot project to help patients avoid medication errors and reduce hospital readmissions after hospital care.

Shoppers Drug MartIn its partnership with Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord, pharmacists from five Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, are consulting with patients after discharge from HSN. Patients are advised to have a consultation with their Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist to discuss all the medications they are currently taking, in addition to new medications prescribed by the care team. Then, HSN will contact each patient’s pharmacist for a consultation on the patient’s medication to ensure correct dosages and avoid any potential negative interactions between the medications.

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“We’re here to help patients by identifying and resolving issues with their medications as swiftly as possible, to ensure the transition from hospital to home is as seamless as possible,” said Matthew King, pharmacist and associate owner of Shoppers Drug Mart’s Frood & Elm location. "We’re committed to reducing readmission rates of patients to hospital by carefully evaluating all medications a patient is prescribed in hospital and at discharge, and comparing that to existing therapies, in order to minimize the risk of medications errors and adverse events.”

For patients who are unable to come to the Shoppers Drug Mart location, due to weakness or mobility challenges, the pharmacist can visit the patient’s home to provide this consultation.

The medication review is sponsored by the Ontario government through a program called MedsCheck, for eligible patients.

“We wanted to launch this pilot project because we know that when healthcare providers communicate better with each about the medications being given to patients, we can avoid some of the problems those patients are facing with their prescriptions, “said Wilf Steer, HSN’s lead pharmacist on the pilot project.

Pharmacists’ medication reviews are needed to reduce medication error rates in Canada. A 2012 study by Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada found that more than 40% of adults with one chronic health conditions reported not receiving appropriate management of their medications.

In addition, 20% of patients discharged from acute care facilities experienced an adverse event, and of those, 66% were drug-related.