Impact of pharmacy-led medication reconciliation on medication errors during transition in the hospital setting.
Objective: To assess if the pharmacy department should be more involved in the medication reconciliation process to assist in the reduction of medication errors that occur during transition of care points in the hospital setting.
Methods: This was an observational prospective cohort study at a 531-bed hospital in Pensacola, FL from June 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014. Patients were included in the study if they had health insurance and were taking five or more medications. Patients with congestive heart failure were excluded from the study. Student pharmacists collected and evaluated medication histories obtained from patients’ community pharmacies, and directed patient interviews. Primary care providers were only contacted on an as needed basis. The information collected was presented to the clinical pharmacist, where interventions were made utilizing clinical judgment.
Results: During the three month study, 1045 home medications were reviewed by student pharmacist. Of these, 290 discrepancies were discovered (27.8%; p=0.02). The most common medication discrepancy found was dose optimization (45.5%). The remaining discrepancies included: added therapy (27.6%), other (15.2%), and discontinued therapy (11.7%). Pharmacists made 143 interventions based on clinical judgment (49.3%; p=0.04).
Conclusion: Involvement of pharmacy personnel during the medication reconciliation process can be an essential component in reducing medical errors. With the addition of the pharmacy department during the admission process, accuracy, cost savings, and patient safety across all phases and transition points of care were achieved.
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