“Brown Bag Clinic”: A Pharmacist-led Approach to Reduce Heart Failure Hospital Readmission

  • Maggie N. Faraj Detroit Medical Center
  • Ileana L. Piña Detroit Medical Center
  • Candice Garwood Wayne State University
Keywords: Heart failure, hospital readmissions, cardiology, pharmacist-led clinic


Objectives: Heart failure (HF) affects approximately 6 million in the United States and despite guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT), still more than 20% of patients are readmitted within 30 days.1,2 This study evaluated the impact of a “pharmacist-led HF Brown Bag Clinic” (BBC) on HF patient outcomes including readmissions and mortality.

Methods: This retrospective study, conducted at an academic medical center, included adult patients 18 to 89 years old with HF presenting to the BBC 7-14 days post HF hospitalization. Those failing to attend the BBC within 30 days of hospital discharge were in the control group. Our electronic medical records were used to capture patients’ baseline characteristics and describe pharmacists’ interventions. Thirty- and ninety-day post-discharge HF readmission and all-cause mortality were evaluated.

Results: A total of 32 patients met the inclusion criteria; 15 receiving intervention and 17 controls. A total of 18 HF hospital readmissions occurred, 4 (22%) readmissions in the intervention group and 14 (78%) in the control group (p= 0.06). Hospital readmissions within 30 days and 90 days were greater in the control group compared with the intervention group (18% vs. 7% and 41% vs. 21% respectively).

Conclusion: A pharmacist-led post-discharge clinic demonstrated numerically fewer HF hospital readmissions compared with a scheduled but “no show” control group.


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Received 2021-07-01
Accepted 2021-08-11
Published 2021-11-03
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research