Pharmacist-led medication reconciliation to reduce discrepancies in transitions of care in Spain.
Int J Clin Pharm. 2013 Dec;35(6):1083-90
Authors: Allende Bandrés MÁ, Arenere Mendoza M, Gutiérrez Nicolás F, Calleja Hernández MÁ, Ruiz La Iglesia F
BACKGROUND: Medication errors are one of the main causes of morbidity amongst hospital inpatients. More than half of medication errors occur at 'interfaces of care', when patients are discharged or transferred to the care of another physician. Medication reconciliation is the process of reviewing patients' complete previous medication regimen, comparing it with current prescriptions, and analysing and resolving any discrepancies that the pharmacist does not believe to be intentional (unjustified discrepancies).
OBJECTIVE: To quantify and analyse reconciliation unjustified discrepancies detected by a pharmacist in patients admitted to an internal medicine unit (IMU) over a 3-year period.
SETTING AND METHOD: The hospital employs a pharmacist who acts as a link between the primary care services and the internal medicine specialist care unit. A retrospective descriptive study on the reconciliation discrepancies found was carried out. Medication reconciliation was performed upon admission in all patients transferred from the Accident and Emergency department (A&E) and admitted to the IMU, and also at the time of discharge. The interventions were categorised based on the consensus document on terminology and medication classification published by the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Number of patients with unjustified discrepancies, also known as reconciliation errors.
RESULTS: 2,473 patients had their treatment reviewed at the time of admission and 1,150 at discharge. 866 reconciliation discrepancies were detected in 446 patients (1.94 per patient). 807 (93 %) were accepted by the prescribing physician and classified as reconciliation errors. 16.8 % of patients had at least one reconciliation error: 63.8 % of these errors were incomplete prescriptions, 16.6 % were medication omissions and 10.5 % were errors in dosage, administration method and/or frequency.
CONCLUSION: The rate of medication errors found in this study is low compared with other similar studies. The most common error was "incomplete prescriptions", most of them generated by the Accident and Emergency department. A computerised clinical history would help to decrease the number of reconciliation errors. Pharmacist interventions focused on medication reconciliation are well accepted by physicians, improving the quality of clinical histories and decreasing the number of medication errors that occur across transitions in patient care.
PMID: 23881347 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]