Advanced Medication Reconciliation: A Systematic Review of the Impact on Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Events Associated with Transitions of Care

Link to article at PubMed

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021 Apr 1:S1553-7250(21)00069-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2021.03.011. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to conduct a systematic review on the impact of in-hospital electronic/enhanced medication reconciliation compared to basic medication reconciliation on medication errors, discrepancies, and adverse drug events (ADEs).

METHODS: The study team searched for peer-reviewed English-language articles in EMBASE, OVID, and Scopus databases up to October 2019. Included were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), pre-post, or interrupted time series designs with medication errors, discrepancies, or ADEs as an outcome, and medication reconciliation applied at hospital discharge. Basic medication reconciliation was defined as using a paper-based format, electronic medication reconciliation as using an electronic format, and enhanced medication reconciliation as incorporating additional interventions to reduce medication errors.

RESULTS: Ten studies (three RCTs, one retrospective cohort study, two interrupted time series studies, three pre-post studies, and one longitudinal study) were identified, with six and four studies comparing basic medication reconciliation to electronic and enhanced medication reconciliation, respectively. The overall risk of bias of the included studies was low (three), unclear (two), moderate (three), and serious/high (two). In general, studies demonstrated that electronic medication reconciliation reduced the odds of a medication discrepancy or ADE and may reduce the mean number of medication discrepancies. Enhanced medication reconciliation was more equivocal, with some studies showing improvement; however, risk of bias was generally significant.

CONCLUSION: Electronic medication reconciliation tends to reduce the risk of ADE; however, these conclusions were limited due to a lack of consistency in study settings, interventions, and outcome definitions. Future studies with more rigorous designs and standardized outcome definitions would provide clarity on this topic.

PMID:34103267 | DOI:10.1016/j.jcjq.2021.03.011

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