Transitional care units: Expanding the role of pharmacists providing patient care

Shannon Reidt, Stephanie Sibicky, Ashley Yarabinec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe two innovative practice models that expand pharmacy services within a nursing facility's transitional care unit (TCU) to meet the needs of patients transitioning to subacute or community care. SETTING: TCU in a hospital-based vs. a community-based facility. PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: The two TCUs involved in these practices differ in that one is hospital-owned and the other is community-based and run by a nonprofit organization. Patients involved in the models are those who have been admitted to the TCU from a hospital and will eventually return home to the community. PRACTICE INNOVATION: Pharmacy services beyond the federally required, monthly drug regimen review are described, including pharmacist-conducted medication reconciliation, which identifies the drugs the patient is taking on admission and those prescribed before discharge from the TCU. Post-TCU discharge follow-up is also provided via telephone call or home visit. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Description of practice models. RESULTS: Timely medication reconciliation and review on TCU admission is key to safe medication use during transitions of care. Incorporating pharmacy students and residents can promote awareness of the service. Partnerships with health systems and colleges or schools of pharmacy can provide financial support of these innovative practice models. CONCLUSION: Pharmacist-driven medication reconciliation and review can improve medication safety across transitions of care involving TCUs. Research is needed to evaluate the impact of these models on outcomes before they are replicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalConsultant Pharmacist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Inc.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hospital
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Nursing facility
  • Transitional care unit
  • Transitions of care.

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