The need for medication reconciliation: a cross-sectional observational study in adult patients.

Link to article at PubMed

The need for medication reconciliation: a cross-sectional observational study in adult patients.

Respir Med. 2011 Oct;105 Suppl 1:S60-6

Authors: Knez L, Suskovic S, Rezonja R, Laaksonen R, Mrhar A

BACKGROUND: Poor communication of drug therapy at care interface often results in medication errors and adverse drug events. Medication reconciliation has been introduced as a measure to improve continuity of patient care. The aim of this cross-sectional observational study was to evaluate the need for medication reconciliation.
METHODS: Comprehensive information on pre-admission therapy was obtained by a research pharmacist for adult medical patients, admitted to a teaching hospital, specialised in pulmonary and allergic diseases, in Slovenia. This information was compared with the in-patient and discharge therapies to identify unintentional discrepancies (medication errors) whose clinical significance was determined by an expert panel reaching consensus.
RESULTS: Most of the included 101 patients were elderly (median age: 73 years) who had multiple medications. Among their in-patient drugs (880), few discrepancies were a medication error (54/654), half of which were judged to be clinically important. A higher rate was observed in the discharge drug therapy (747): 369 of the identified discrepancies (566) were a medication error, over half of which were judged as clinically important. A greater number of pre-admission drugs, poorly taken medication histories and a greater number of medication errors in in-patient therapy predisposed patients to clinically important medication errors in discharge therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provided evidence in a small sample of patients on the discontinuity of drug therapy at patient discharge in a hospital in Slovenia and its implications for patient care. To ensure continuity and safety of patient care, medication reconciliation should be implemented throughout a patient's hospital stay.

PMID: 22015089 [PubMed - in process]

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