Pharmacist Intervention to Decrease Medication Errors in Heart Disease Patients (The PILL-CVD Study)

2014-08-27 03:32:19 | BioPortfolio


Many people who have recently left the hospital have difficulties managing their medications, and medication errors are common. Patients with low health literacy levels may have a particularly difficult time understanding medication dosing and instructions. This study will evaluate a literacy-focused program that provides educational assistance from pharmacists at the time of hospital discharge to people hospitalized with heart problems.


After hospital discharge, many people experience difficulty in managing their medication regimens. This can be due to medication dosing changes, challenges in adjusting new medications with those that were taken previously, inadequate discharge instructions from hospital personnel, and inadequate follow-up. Difficulty with medication management can lead to medication errors that result in harmful side effects, poor disease control, hospital readmission, or even death. People with low health literacy often have greater difficulty with understanding and managing their medication regimens and as a result they experience more medication use errors. Although research shows that many medication errors could be prevented or lessened through improved doctor communication and patient-centered treatment programs, little research has been done on the effectiveness of such programs among low-literacy patients or of such programs during key transition times like hospital discharge. Getting pharmacists involved with patient care before hospital discharge may prevent unnecessary and dangerous medication errors from occurring once patients leave the hospital. Because of the severity of heart conditions and the likelihood of serious adverse effects from non-compliance with heart medications, this study will evaluate people admitted to the hospital for acute coronary syndromes or heart failure. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a health literacy-focused, pharmacist-delivered program at reducing medication errors in heart patients during the first month after hospital discharge.

This study will enroll people admitted to the hospital who have acute coronary syndromes or heart failure. Participants will be randomly assigned to either the pharmacist-delivered program or usual care. Participants assigned to the intervention group will receive a pharmacist-assisted medication review while in the hospital, counseling from a pharmacist at the time of hospital discharge, a low-literacy education tool that details the discharge medications, a follow-up phone call 1 to 4 days after discharge, and additional phone calls as needed. Participants receiving usual care will receive a doctor-assisted medication review and nurse-provided guidance on medication usage at the time of hospital discharge. Approximately 30 days after hospital discharge, study researchers will call all participants to collect information on serious medication errors, health care utilization, and disease-specific quality of life.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Health Services Research


Acute Coronary Syndrome


Pharmacist Intervention for Low-Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease


Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States


Active, not recruiting


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:32:19-0400

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