Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2020 Sep 20;11:2042098620957142. doi: 10.1177/2042098620957142. eCollection 2020.
BACKGROUND: Patients at high risk of medication errors will potentially benefit most from medication reviews. An algorithm, MERIS, can identify the patients who are at highest risk of medication errors. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of performing stratified medication reviews on patients who according to MERIS were at highest risk of medication errors.
METHODS: A randomised controlled trial was performed at the Acute Admissions Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. Patients were included at admission to the hospital and were randomised to control or intervention. The intervention consisted of stratified medication review at admission on patients with a high MERIS score. Clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists performed the medication reviews; the clinical pharmacologists performed the reviews on patients with the highest MERIS score. The primary outcome measure was the number of prescribing errors during the hospitalisation. Secondary outcomes included self-experienced quality of life, health-care utilisation and mortality measured at follow-up 90 days after discharge.
RESULTS: A total of 375 patients were included, of which medication reviews were performed in 64 patients. The medication reviews addressed 63 prescribing errors in 37 patients and 60 other drug-related problems. No difference in the number of prescribing errors during hospitalisation between the intervention group (n = 165) and control group (n = 153) was found, corresponding to 0.11 prescribing errors per drug (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08-0.14) versus 0.13 per drug (95% CI: 0.09-0.16), respectively. No differences in secondary outcomes were observed.
CONCLUSION: A stratified medication review approach based on the individual patient's risk of medication errors did not show impact on the chosen outcomes.
PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY: How does a medication review at admission affect patients who are in high risk of medication errors? Patients are at risk of medication errors at admission to hospital. Medication reviews aim to detect and solve these. Yet, due to limited resources in healthcare, it would be beneficial to detect the patients who are most at risk of medication errors and perform medication reviews on those patients.In this study we investigated whether an algorithm, MERIS, could detect patients who are at highest risk of medication errors; we also studied whether performing medication reviews on patients at highest risk of medication errors would have an effect on, for example, the number of medication errors during hospitalisation, qualify of life and number of readmissions. We included 375 patients in a Danish acute admission unit and they were divided into control group and intervention group. Patients in the intervention group received a medication review at admission if they were considered at high risk of medication errors, assessed with the aid of MERIS. In summary, 64 patients in the intervention group were most at risk of medication errors and therefore received a medication review.We conclude in the study that MERIS was useful in identifying relevant patients for medication reviews. Yet, the medication reviews performed at admission did not impact on the chosen outcomes.