Hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems scores relating to pain following the incorporation of clinical pharmacists into patient education prior to joint replacement surgery

Keywords: outcome assessment, patient reported outcome measures, Pharmaceutical Services


Background: Pharmacist involvement has been shown to improve various aspects of patient care. Patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgery generally experience post-operative pain and discomfort. Pain control can impact patient satisfaction, as reported by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

Objective: The current pilot study aims to measure the potential impact that incorporating pharmacists into preoperative patient education programs has on the response to select HCAHPS questions.

Methods: Patient responses to two select HCAHPS questions related to pain were recorded for a year prior to pharmacist involvement in a comprehensive preoperative patient education program (2012) and a year after pharmacists became actively involved (2013).

Results: In all reporting surgical patients, there was a modest 3.68% improvement in mean scores reflecting patient’s feelings that hospital staff did “everything they could” to attend to their pain (mean2012=3.66, SD=0.63 versus mean2013=3.80, SD=0.43, p=0.018, Mann-Whitney U test). There was a non-significant 2.98% improvement in scores reflecting the level that pain was “well controlled” (mean2012=3.54, SD=0.651 versus mean2013=3.65, SD=0.554, p=0.069, Mann-Whitney U test) in surgical patients.

Conclusion: The results suggest comprehensive pharmacist involvement in patient education prior to joint replacement surgery may impact HCAHPS scores related to pain control. While the observed potential improvements were modest, the current results justify larger, multi-institution prospective studies to better elucidate the impact pharmacists can have on pain management in patients undergoing joint replacement. 

Original Research