J Clin Nurs. 2023 Apr;32(7-8):1276-1285. doi: 10.1111/jocn.16275. Epub 2022 Mar 6.
BACKGROUND: Safe medication management is a cornerstone of nursing practice. Nurses prepare patients for discharge which includes the ongoing safe administration of medications. Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge is an interprofessional activity that helps to identify and rectify medication discrepancies or errors to ensure the accuracy and completeness of discharge medications and information. Nurses have a role in medication safety; however, their involvement in medication reconciliation at hospital discharge is poorly described. The study's aim was to describe acute care nurses' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in medication reconciliation at hospital discharge, including barriers and enablers.
DESIGN: Using focus groups, this exploratory descriptive study gathered qualitative data from nurses working in five acute care clinical units (medical, surgical and transit/discharge lounge) at a tertiary Australian hospital. The data were analysed using inductive content analysis and reported following the COREQ checklist.
RESULTS: Thirty-two nurses were recruited. Three themes emerged from the data: nurses' medication reconciliation role involves chasing, checking and educating; burden of undertaking medication reconciliation at hospital discharge; team collaboration and communication in medication reconciliation.
CONCLUSIONS: Nurses had a minor role in medication reconciliation at hospital discharge due to a lack of organisation clinical practice guidance and specialised training. Standardising interprofessional medication reconciliation processes and increasing nurses' involvement will help to streamline this task, reduce discharge delays, workload pressure and improve patient safety.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge is an interprofessional patient safety activity, however little is known about nurse's role and responsibilities. This study reports nurses' important contribution to patient safety in terms of healthcare team coordination, medication checking and patient education. Supportive organisations and collaborative teams increased nurses' willingness to complete this activity.
PMID:35253291 | DOI:10.1111/jocn.16275