Developing indicators for medication-related readmissions based on a Delphi consensus study.

Schönenberger, Nicole; Blanc, Anne-Laure; Hug, Balthasar L; Haschke, Manuel; Goetschi, Aljoscha N.; Wernli, Ursina; Meyer-Massetti, Carla (2024). Developing indicators for medication-related readmissions based on a Delphi consensus study. Research in social & administrative pharmacy, 20(6), pp. 92-101. Elsevier 10.1016/j.sapharm.2024.02.012

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Medication-related readmissions challenge healthcare systems by burdening patients, increasing costs and straining resources. However, to date, there has been no consensus study on indicators for medication-related readmissions.


This Delphi study aimed to develop a consensus-based set of indicators for detecting patients at risk of medication-related readmission.


An expert panel of clinical pharmacists, physicians and nursing experts participated in a two-round Delphi study. In round 1, 31 indicators taken from the literature were rated for relevance on a scale from 1 to 9, with a median rating of 7 or higher suggesting relevance. The RAND/UCLA method was used to determine consensus. In round 2, indicators lacking consensus were re-rated together with a series of new indicators generated by the experts. Additional details were sought for some indicators. The main outcomes were the relevance of, consensus on, and completeness of the proposed indicators for identifying risks of 30-day medication-related readmission.


Thirty-eight experts participated in round 1. Consensus was found for all the indicators, with 25 included and 6 excluded. Thirty-four experts participated in round 2. Consensus was found for all 5 newly suggested indicators, and 4 were included. The expert panel prioritized the following indicators: (1) insufficient communication between different healthcare providers, (2) polypharmacy (≥7 medications), (3) low rates of medication adherence (twice-weekly mistakes or missing administration), (4) complex medication regimens (≥3 doses, ≥2 dosage forms and ≥2 administration routes per day), and (5) multimorbidity (≥3 chronic conditions). The final set comprised 29 indicators.


The indicator set developed for flagging potential medication-related readmissions could guide priorities for clinical pharmacy services at hospital discharge, improving patient outcomes and resource use. A validation study of these indicators is planned.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Schönenberger, Nicole Chantal, Haschke, Manuel Martin, Goetschi, Aljoscha Noël, Wernli, Ursina, Meyer-Massetti, Carla Verena


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

05 Mar 2024 08:44

Last Modified:

22 May 2024 00:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Clinical pharmacy Drug-related readmission Hospital discharge Medication safety Risk factor Transition of care




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