A pharmacy-based medication reconciliation and review program in hemodialysis patients: a prospective study

Keywords: Medication Reconciliation, Medication Errors, Renal Dialysis, Interprofessional Relations, Pharmacists, United States


Background: Hemodialysis (HD) patients are on multiple medications, see many prescribers and have many hospitalizations which put them at risk for medication record discrepancies and medication related problems (MRP). Being able to effectively identify and reconcile these medication issues is crucial in reducing hospitalizations, morbidities, and mortalities. The care of the hemodialysis patients can be enhanced by incorporating a pharmacist into the interprofessional team. There is little data in the literature on medication record discrepancies and MRP’s in dialysis patients.

Objective: The objectives of this research were to determine the types of medication discrepancies and MRPs in dialysis patients and if recommendations for changes based on these findings were accepted by providers.

Methods: Patients were asked to bring medications to the dialysis unit for review. Discrepancy and MRP recommendations were communicated to the unit staff via written progress notes. A follow-up was performed an average of 33 days later to determine if the recommendations were accepted.

Results: Overall, in 93 unique patients, 376 discrepancies (3.1 per patient) and 64 MRPs (0.5 per patient) were identified. The most common type of discrepancy and MRP was drug omission and indication without drug, respectively. Of the total 440 interventions, 77% were ultimately accepted. Discrepancies were more likely to be accepted as compared to MRPs (85% vs. 27%, respectively).

Conclusion: Medication record discrepancies and MRPs are common in dialysis patients. Recommendations related to discrepancies were more likely to be accepted by the providers as compared to MRPs. Medication records became inaccurate within 12 months. A pharmacy-based medication reconciliation and review program may have an important impact on the care of hemodialysis patients.


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Author Biography

Edward F. Foote
Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS
Professor and Chair
Department of PharmacyPractice


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Original Research