Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2022 Jan 27:ejhpharm-2021-003071. doi: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2021-003071. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether it was possible to decrease the time used for medication reconciliation (MR) in the emergency department without compromising quality. A more efficient method will enable more patients to receive MR as early as possible after admission to hospital.
METHODS: Potential key factors for improvement of the standard method of MR by clinical pharmacists were identified through an observational period. A revised method was developed, focusing on decreasing time spent on the patient interview by use of a condensed checklist and probing questions based on information from a prescription database. Non-inferior quality (proportion of patients with at least one identified medication discrepancy and number of identified medication discrepancies per patient) of the revised method was evaluated using a before-after study design with 200 individuals in each group. Non-inferiority limit was set at 10%. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for statistical evaluation of the difference in time use per patient in the MR process between the before and after group.
RESULTS: Mean age of the included patients was 78 years in both groups. The time used for MR in the after group was 34% shorter (37 min vs 56 min, p<0.0001) compared with the before group. The revised method was shown to be non-inferior compared with the original method with respect to the proportion of patients with at least one identified discrepancy (81%, 95% CI 76% to 86% vs 79%, 95% CI 73% to 84%). Also, non-inferiority was shown for the number of identified discrepancies per patient, where the average number of discrepancies per patient was 1.9 (95% CI 1.7 to 2.1) in both groups.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that it was possible to speed up the MR process without compromising its effectiveness in identifying medication discrepancies.