In-Hospital Medication Safer For Patient Than Filling A Prescription After

First Posted: Feb 24, 2016 05:28 PM EST

A new study by researchers at Boston Medical Center shows that children given medications for asthma right after they left the hospital versus those given a prescription to fill were less likely to need further assistance upon leaving.

The findings showed that children who received medications from the doctor before leaving the emergency room (ER) were less likely to require additional treatment than counterparts who did not.

"While our study was small, it shows that a fairly simple intervention can be administered by the inpatient team to help decrease future emergency department visits for patients with asthma," Dr. Jonathan Hatoun, a former researcher at Boston Medical Center, in a press release. "We might expect similar results for other diseases, though more studies need to be done."

The study looked at the "Meds in Hand" program, which was designed to get at least 75 percent of patients their medication before leaving the hospital. Thus, an in-room delivery service is set up to prevent the need for patients to go to another pharmacy. The program also included instructions on how to use medications, increasing the chance for instructions to be followed.

During a two-year trial period, the 75 percent goal was achieved, and researchers reported patients were 78 percent less likely to come back to the hospital in the 30 days following discharge.

The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.

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