19 Optimised medication and communication at discharge


The lists of drugs taken by patients are long. This results in adverse interactions and impairment of health. A systematic medication review on discharge from hospital and a standardised communication with the patients’ general practitioners can help to improve this situation.

Portrait / project description (ongoing research project)

A post-graduate training module will be developed and used in a number of hospitals with the aim of empowering hospital doctors to use the corresponding tools. The effect of this training will be evaluated in a controlled study. Data from the participating doctors and patients about the time from discharge from hospital to re-admission, the number of visits to doctors and emergency departments, the number and type of drugs prescribed, patients’ quality of life and aspects of communication and processes will be compared with data from a control group. The implementation of the training and the costs will then be evaluated and recommendations for dissemination will be formulated.


Studies show that patients are taking more drugs when they leave hospital compared to their admission. Prescription of inadequate and/or too many different drugs has a negative impact on patients’ health, on hospitalisation rates and on health-related costs. This is why patients’ medication lists should be critically reviewed at discharge from hospital. Unnecessary or inadequate drugs should be discontinued in consensus with patients and their general practitioners.


The aim of the study is to show that systematically reviewing and optimising medication at discharge from hospital combined with a defined communication between hospitals and general practitioners leads to fewer re-admissions and better patient health. In addition, the feasibility of this approach and its impact on health-related costs will be investigated.

Relevance / Application

The study provides a basis for optimised medication and communication at discharge from hospital. The training module and tools can be used in other hospitals, thus helping to improve patient health and lower health-related costs.

Original title

Improving inappropriate medication and information transfer at hospital discharge. A cluster-randomized controlled trial

Project leaders


  • Dr. med. Stefan Neuner-Jehle, Institut für Hausarztmedizin Zürich, Universität Zürich


  • Dr. Stefan Markun, Institut für Hausarztmedizin, Universität Zürich
  • Dr. Stefan Zechmann, Institut für Hausarztmedizin, Universität Zürich
  • Prof. Thomas Rosemann, Institut für Hausarztmedizin, Universität Zürich
  • Prof. Oliver Senn, Institut für Hausarztmedizin, Universität Zürich
  • Prof. Nicolas Rodondi, Berner Institut für Hausarztmedizin (BIHAM), Universität Bern



Further information on this content


Dr. med. Stefan Neuner-Jehle Institut für Hausarztmedizin Zürich
Universität Zürich
Pestalozzistrasse 24 8091 Zürich +41 44 255 98 55

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