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More on discharge medications

June 2012

Published in the June 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

I saw your recent article on filling discharge prescriptions for patients while they’re still in the hospital.

My hospital had started something similar as a convenience to patients, and we saw the benefits of dealing with any formulary and delivery issues while patients were still in the hospital. Unfortunately, area pharmacies complained enough that the service was discontinued. As I understand it, they claimed that no pharmacist was available onsite to discuss risks, benefits and side effects. As a result, they were concerned that the arrangement was illegal or at least substandard care.

I was wondering if any such issues cropped up at the center that was featured in your article.

Daniel Carmody, MD
Nashville, Tenn.

Fernando Petry, DO, MBA, responds: We have not experienced such issues here. We can request that our in-house pharmacist discuss side effects with patients prior to discharge during multidisciplinary rounds.

Also, I think the pharmacies here in South Florida experience a lot of competition. And because this is a division-wide initiative for HCA’s East Florida division “in 12 hospitals from Miami to West Palm Beach “it carries a little more weight. Our nurses also do medication counseling at the bedside prior to discharge and our clinical nurse leaders have done a great job as well.