Medication Regimen Complexity and Unplanned Hospital Readmissions in Older People

Barbara C. Wimmer, Elsa Dent, J. S.Simon Bell, Michael D. Wiese, Ian Chapman, Kristina Johnell, Renuka Visvanathan

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34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Medication-related problems and adverse drug events are leading causes of preventable hospitalizations. Few previous studies have investigated the possible association between medication regimen complexity and unplanned rehospitalization. Objective: To investigate the association between discharge medication regimen complexity and unplanned rehospitalization over a 12-month period. Method: The prospective study comprised patients aged ≥70 years old consecutively admitted to a Geriatrics Evaluation and Management (GEM) unit between October 2010 and December 2011. Medication regimen complexity at discharge was calculated using the 65-item validated Medication Regimen Complexity Index (MRCI). Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to compute unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs for factors associated with rehospitalization over a 12-month follow-up period. Result: Of 163 eligible patients, 99 patients had one or more unplanned hospital readmissions. When adjusting for age, sex, activities of daily living, depression, comorbidity, cognitive status, and discharge destination, MRCI (HR = 1.01; 95% CI = 0.81-1.26), number of discharge medications (HR = 1.01; 95% CI = 0.94-1.08), and polypharmacy (≥9 medications; HR = 1.12; 95% CI = 0.69-1.80) were not associated with rehospitalization. In patients discharged to nonhome settings, there was an association between rehospitalization and the number of discharge medications (HR = 1.12; 95% CI = 1.01-1.25) and polypharmacy (HR = 2.24; 95% CI = 1.02-4.94) but not between rehospitalization and MRCI (HR = 1.32; 95% CI = 0.98-1.78). Conclusion: Medication regimen complexity was not associated with unplanned hospital readmission in older people. However, in patients discharged to nonhome settings, the number of discharge medications and polypharmacy predicted rehospitalization. A patient's discharge destination is an important factor in unplanned medication-related readmissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1128
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Volume48
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • elderly
  • hospital readmission
  • medication regimen complexity

Cite this

Wimmer, B. C., Dent, E., Bell, J. S. S., Wiese, M. D., Chapman, I., Johnell, K., & Visvanathan, R. (2014). Medication Regimen Complexity and Unplanned Hospital Readmissions in Older People. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 48(9), 1120-1128. https://doi.org/10.1177/1060028014537469