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1.  Health economic evaluation of the Lund Integrated Medicines Management Model (LIMM) in elderly patients admitted to hospital 
BMJ Open  2013;3(1):e001563.
Objective
To evaluate the cost effectiveness of a multidisciplinary team including a pharmacist for systematic medication review and reconciliation from admission to discharge at hospital among elderly patients (the Lund Integrated Medicines Management (LIMM)) in order to reduce drug-related readmissions and outpatient visits.
Method
Published data from the LIMM project group were used to design a probabilistic decision tree model for evaluating tools for (1) a systematic medication reconciliation and review process at initial hospital admission and during stay (admission part) and (2) a medication report for patients discharged from hospital to primary care (discharge part). The comparator was standard care. Inpatient, outpatient and staff time costs (Euros, 2009) were calculated during a 3-month period. Dis-utilities for hospital readmissions and outpatient visits due to medication errors were taken from the literature.
Results
The total cost for the LIMM model was €290 compared to €630 for standard care, in spite of a €39 intervention cost. The main cost offset arose from avoided drug-related readmissions in the Admission part (€262) whereas only €66 was offset in the Discharge part as a result of fewer outpatient visits and correction time. The reduced disutility was estimated to 0.005 quality-adjusted life-years (QALY), indicating that LIMM was a dominant alternative. The probability that the intervention would be cost-effective at a zero willingness to pay for a gained QALY compared to standard care was estimated to 98%.
Conclusions
The LIMM medication reconciliation (at admission and discharge) and medication review was both cost-saving and generated greater utility compared to standard care, foremost owing to avoided drug-related hospital readmissions. When implementing such a review process with a multidisciplinary team, it may be important to consider a learning curve in order to capture the full advantage.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001563
PMCID: PMC3553390  PMID: 23315436
Clinical Pharmacology
2.  Effect of Patient- and Medication-Related Factors on Inpatient Medication Reconciliation Errors 
ABSTRACT
Background
Little research has examined the incidence, clinical relevance, and predictors of medication reconciliation errors at hospital admission and discharge.
Objective
To identify patient- and medication-related factors that contribute to pre-admission medication list (PAML) errors and admission order errors, and to test whether such errors persist in the discharge medication list.
Design, Participants
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 423 adults with acute coronary syndromes or acute decompensated heart failure admitted to two academic hospitals who received pharmacist-assisted medication reconciliation during the Pharmacist Intervention for Low Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease (PILL–CVD) Study.
Main Measures
Pharmacists assessed the number of total and clinically relevant errors in the PAML and admission and discharge medication orders. We used negative binomial regression and report incidence rate ratios (IRR) of predictors of reconciliation errors.
Key Results
On admission, 174 of 413 patients (42%) had ≥1 PAML error, and 73 (18%) had ≥1 clinically relevant PAML error. At discharge, 158 of 405 patients (39%) had ≥1 discharge medication error, and 126 (31%) had ≥1 clinically relevant discharge medication error. Clinically relevant PAML errors were associated with older age (IRR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.00– 2.12) and number of pre-admission medications (IRR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.10–1.25), and were less likely when a recent medication list was present in the electronic medical record (EMR) (IRR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30–0.96). Clinically relevant admission order errors were also associated with older age and number of pre-admission medications. Clinically relevant discharge medication errors were more likely for every PAML error (IRR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.19–1.45) and number of medications changed prior to discharge (IRR = 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01–1.11).
Conclusions
Medication reconciliation errors are common at hospital admission and discharge. Errors in preadmission medication histories are associated with older age and number of medications and lead to more discharge reconciliation errors. A recent medication list in the EMR is protective against medication reconciliation errors.
doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2003-y
PMCID: PMC3403136  PMID: 22350761
medication reconciliation; hospital; medication errors; admission; discharge
3.  Medication reconciliation and prescribing reviews by pharmacy technicians in a geriatric ward 
Objective:
Incomplete medication histories obtained on hospital admission are responsible for more than 25% of prescribing errors. This study aimed to evaluate whether pharmacy technicians can assist hospital physicians’ in obtaining medication histories by performing medication reconciliation and prescribing reviews. A secondary aim was to evaluate whether the interventions made by pharmacy technicians could reduce the time spent by the nurses on administration of medications to the patients.
Methods:
This observational study was conducted over a 7 week period in the geriatric ward at Odense University Hospital, Denmark. Two pharmacy technicians conducted medication reconciliation and prescribing reviews at the time of patients’ admission to the ward. The reviews were conducted according to standard operating procedures developed by a clinical pharmacist and approved by the Head of the Geriatric Department.
Findings:
In total, 629 discrepancies were detected during the conducted medication reconciliations, in average 3 for each patient. About 45% of the prescribing discrepancies were accepted and corrected by the physicians. “Medication omission” was the most frequently detected discrepancy (46% of total). During the prescribing reviews, a total of 860 prescription errors were detected, approximately one per medication review. Almost all of the detected prescription errors were later accepted and/or corrected by the physicians. “Dosage and time interval errors” were the most frequently detected error (48% of total). The time used by nurses for administration of medicines was reduced in the study period.
Conclusion:
This study suggests that pharmacy technicians can contribute to a substantial reduction in medication discrepancies in acutely admitted patients by performing medication reconciliation and focused medication reviews. Further randomized, controlled studies including a larger number of patients are required to elucidate whether these observations are of significance and of importance for securing patient safety.
doi:10.4103/2279-042X.128143
PMCID: PMC4076929  PMID: 24991623
Geriatric ward; medication administration time; medication reconciliation; medication review; pharmacy technicians
4.  Effect of Education on the Recording of Medicines on Admission to Hospital 
BACKGROUND
The inaccurate recording of medicines on admission to hospital is an important cause of medication error. Medication reconciliation has been used to identify and correct these errors.
OBJECTIVE
To determine if a multimodal intervention involving medication reconciliation with real-time feedback and education would reduce the number of errors made by medical staff when recording medicines at the time of admission to hospital.
DESIGN
Observational study.
PARTICIPANTS
Patients admitted to the general medical wards of a teaching hospital were studied prospectively. Patients ≥75 years of age and on ≥5 medications were identified as the ‘target group.’
INTERVENTION
After admission, a second medication history was taken, and discrepancies were identified and communicated to the medical teams. An educational intervention to encourage prescribers to obtain accurate medication histories was conducted at the same time.
MEASUREMENTS
The discrepancy rate was measured before and after the intervention.
MAIN RESULTS
There were 470 admissions in the ‘target group.’ Three hundred and thirty-eight of the admissions (71.9%) had one or more unintentional discrepancies. Although many discrepancies had little potential to cause harm, 33% were rated as clinically significant. During the study the discrepancy rate (prior to reconciliation) fell from 2.6 (SD 2.6) to 1.0 (SD 1.1) per admission (p < 0.0001). This decline in discrepancy rate remained significant (p = 0.001) even when only clinically important discrepancies were included. The proportion of admissions with one or more clinically important discrepancies also decreased during the study from 46% to 24% (p = 0.023).
CONCLUSIONS
Errors in the recording of medicines at the time of hospital admission are common. Combining the feedback provided by medication reconciliation with prescriber education reduced the error rate. This approach may be useful when the resources are not available to perform medication reconciliation for all patients admitted to hospital.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1317-x
PMCID: PMC2869408  PMID: 20237959
medical education; medical errors; medical record system
5.  Rationale and design of the Multicenter Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS) 
Background
Unresolved medication discrepancies during hospitalization can contribute to adverse drug events, resulting in patient harm. Discrepancies can be reduced by performing medication reconciliation; however, effective implementation of medication reconciliation has proven to be challenging. The goals of the Multi-Center Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS) are to operationalize best practices for inpatient medication reconciliation, test their effect on potentially harmful unintentional medication discrepancies, and understand barriers and facilitators of successful implementation.
Methods
Six U.S. hospitals are participating in this quality improvement mentored implementation study. Each hospital has collected baseline data on the primary outcome: the number of potentially harmful unintentional medication discrepancies per patient, as determined by a trained on-site pharmacist taking a “gold standard” medication history. With the guidance of their mentors, each site has also begun to implement one or more of 11 best practices to improve medication reconciliation. To understand the effect of the implemented interventions on hospital staff and culture, we are performing mixed methods program evaluation including surveys, interviews, and focus groups of front line staff and hospital leaders.
Discussion
At baseline the number of unintentional medication discrepancies in admission and discharge orders per patient varies by site from 2.35 to 4.67 (mean=3.35). Most discrepancies are due to history errors (mean 2.12 per patient) as opposed to reconciliation errors (mean 1.23 per patient). Potentially harmful medication discrepancies averages 0.45 per patient and varies by site from 0.13 to 0.82 per patient. We discuss several barriers to implementation encountered thus far. In the end, we anticipate that MARQUIS tools and lessons learned have the potential to decrease medication discrepancies and improve patient outcomes.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01337063
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-230
PMCID: PMC3698100  PMID: 23800355
Medication reconciliation; Hospitalization; Quality improvement; Care transitions
6.  Pharmacists’ Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions 
The Annals of pharmacotherapy  2012;46(9):1152-1159.
Background
Increasingly, hospitals are implementing multi-faceted programs to improve medication reconciliation and transitions of care, often involving pharmacists.
Objective
To help delineate the optimal role of pharmacists in this context, this qualitative study assessed pharmacists’ views on their roles in hospital-based medication reconciliation and discharge counseling. We also provide pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions.
Methods
Eleven study pharmacists at two hospitals who participated in the Pharmacist Intervention for Low Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease (PILL-CVD) study completed semi-structured one-on-one interviews, which were coded systematically in NVivo. Pharmacists provided their perspectives on admission and discharge medication reconciliation, in-hospital patient counseling, provision of simple medication adherence aids (e.g., pill box, illustrated daily medication schedule), and telephone follow-up.
Results
Pharmacists considered medication reconciliation, though time-consuming, to be their most important role in improving care transitions, particularly through detection of errors in the admission medication history that required correction. They also identified patients with poor understanding of their medications, who required additional counseling. Providing adherence aids was felt to be highly valuable for patients with low health literacy, though less useful for patients with adequate health literacy. Pharmacists noted that having trained administrative staff conduct the initial post-discharge follow-up call to screen for issues and triage which patients needed pharmacist follow-up was helpful and an efficient use of resources. Pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions included clear communication among team members, protected time for discharge counseling, patient and family engagement in discharge counseling, and provision of patient education materials.
Conclusion
Pharmacists are well-positioned to participate in hospital-based medication reconciliation, identify patients with poor medication understanding or adherence, and provide tailored patient counseling to improve transitions of care. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in other settings, and to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of different models of pharmacist involvement.
doi:10.1345/aph.1Q641
PMCID: PMC3575733  PMID: 22872752
pharmacist; health literacy; care transitions; medication reconciliation; qualitative research
7.  Medication Reconciliation in Patients Hospitalized in a Cardiology Unit 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115491.
Objectives
To compare drugs prescribed on hospital admission with the list of drugs taken prior to admission for adult patients admitted to a cardiology unit and to identify the role of a pharmacist in identifying and resolving medication discrepancies.
Method
This study was conducted in a 300 bed university hospital in Brazil. Clinical pharmacists taking medication histories and reconciling medications prescribed on admission with a list of drugs used prior to admission. Discrepancies were classified as justified (e.g., based on the pharmacotherapeutic guidelines of the hospital studied) or unintentional. Treatments were reviewed within 48 hours following hospitalization. Unintentional discrepancies were further classified according to the categorization of medication error severity. Pharmacists verbally contacted the prescriber to recommend actions to resolve the discrepancies.
Results
A total of 181 discrepancies were found in 50 patients (86%). Of these discrepancies, 149 (82.3%) were justified changes to the patient's home medication regimen; however, 32 (17.7%) discrepancies found in 24 patients were unintentional. Pharmacists made 31 interventions and 23 (74.2%) were accepted. Among unintentional discrepancies, the most common was a different medication dose on admission (42%). Of the unintentional discrepancies 13 (40.6%) were classified as error without harm, 11 (34.4%) were classified as error without harm but which could affect the patient and require monitoring, 3 (9.4%) as errors could have resulted in harm and 5 (15.6%) were classified as circumstances or events that have the capacity to cause harm.
Conclusion
The results revealed a high number of unintentional discrepancies and the pharmacist can play an important role by intervening and correcting medication errors at a hospital cardiology unit.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115491
PMCID: PMC4274082  PMID: 25531902
8.  Aligning Medication Reconciliation and Secure Messaging: Qualitative Study of Primary Care Providers’ Perspectives 
Background
Virtual (non-face-to-face) medication reconciliation strategies may reduce adverse drug events (ADEs) among vulnerable ambulatory patients. Understanding provider perspectives on the use of technology for medication reconciliation can inform the design of patient-centered solutions to improve ambulatory medication safety.
Objective
The aim of the study was to describe primary care providers’ experiences of ambulatory medication reconciliation and secure messaging (secure email between patients and providers), and to elicit perceptions of a virtual medication reconciliation system using secure messaging (SM).
Methods
This was a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. From January 2012 to May 2012, we conducted structured observations of primary care clinical activities and interviewed 15 primary care providers within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). We carried out content analysis informed by the grounded theory.
Results
Of the 15 participating providers, 12 were female and 11 saw 10 or fewer patients in a typical workday. Experiences and perceptions elicited from providers during in-depth interviews were organized into 12 overarching themes: 4 themes for experiences with medication reconciliation, 3 themes for perceptions on how to improve ambulatory medication reconciliation, and 5 themes for experiences with SM. Providers generally recognized medication reconciliation as a valuable component of primary care delivery and all agreed that medication reconciliation following hospital discharge is a key priority. Most providers favored delegating the responsibility for medication reconciliation to another member of the staff, such as a nurse or a pharmacist. The 4 themes related to ambulatory medication reconciliation were (1) the approach to complex patients, (2) the effectiveness of medication reconciliation in preventing ADEs, (3) challenges to completing medication reconciliation, and (4) medication reconciliation during transitions of care. Specifically, providers emphasized the importance of medication reconciliation at the post-hospital visit. Providers indicated that assistance from a caregiver (eg, a family member) for medication reconciliation was helpful for complex or elderly patients and that patients’ social or cognitive factors often made medication reconciliation challenging. Regarding providers’ use of SM, about half reported using SM frequently, but all felt that it improved their clinical workflow and nearly all providers were enthusiastic about a virtual medication reconciliation system, such as one using SM. All providers thought that such a system could reduce ADEs.
Conclusions
Although providers recognize the importance and value of ambulatory medication reconciliation, various factors make it difficult to execute this task effectively, particularly among complex or elderly patients and patients with complicated social circumstances. Many providers favor enlisting the support of pharmacists or nurses to perform medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting. In general, providers are enthusiastic about the prospect of using secure messaging for medication reconciliation, particularly during transitions of care, and believe a system of virtual medication reconciliation could reduce ADEs.
doi:10.2196/jmir.2793
PMCID: PMC3868963  PMID: 24297865
medication reconciliation; secure messaging; secure email, primary care; provider experiences; health information technology (HIT)
9.  Effects of Two Commercial Electronic Prescribing Systems on Prescribing Error Rates in Hospital In-Patients: A Before and After Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(1):e1001164.
In a before-and-after study, Johanna Westbrook and colleagues evaluate the change in prescribing error rates after the introduction of two commercial electronic prescribing systems in two Australian hospitals.
Background
Considerable investments are being made in commercial electronic prescribing systems (e-prescribing) in many countries. Few studies have measured or evaluated their effectiveness at reducing prescribing error rates, and interactions between system design and errors are not well understood, despite increasing concerns regarding new errors associated with system use. This study evaluated the effectiveness of two commercial e-prescribing systems in reducing prescribing error rates and their propensities for introducing new types of error.
Methods and Results
We conducted a before and after study involving medication chart audit of 3,291 admissions (1,923 at baseline and 1,368 post e-prescribing system) at two Australian teaching hospitals. In Hospital A, the Cerner Millennium e-prescribing system was implemented on one ward, and three wards, which did not receive the e-prescribing system, acted as controls. In Hospital B, the iSoft MedChart system was implemented on two wards and we compared before and after error rates. Procedural (e.g., unclear and incomplete prescribing orders) and clinical (e.g., wrong dose, wrong drug) errors were identified. Prescribing error rates per admission and per 100 patient days; rates of serious errors (5-point severity scale, those ≥3 were categorised as serious) by hospital and study period; and rates and categories of postintervention “system-related” errors (where system functionality or design contributed to the error) were calculated. Use of an e-prescribing system was associated with a statistically significant reduction in error rates in all three intervention wards (respectively reductions of 66.1% [95% CI 53.9%–78.3%]; 57.5% [33.8%–81.2%]; and 60.5% [48.5%–72.4%]). The use of the system resulted in a decline in errors at Hospital A from 6.25 per admission (95% CI 5.23–7.28) to 2.12 (95% CI 1.71–2.54; p<0.0001) and at Hospital B from 3.62 (95% CI 3.30–3.93) to 1.46 (95% CI 1.20–1.73; p<0.0001). This decrease was driven by a large reduction in unclear, illegal, and incomplete orders. The Hospital A control wards experienced no significant change (respectively −12.8% [95% CI −41.1% to 15.5%]; −11.3% [−40.1% to 17.5%]; −20.1% [−52.2% to 12.4%]). There was limited change in clinical error rates, but serious errors decreased by 44% (0.25 per admission to 0.14; p = 0.0002) across the intervention wards compared to the control wards (17% reduction; 0.30–0.25; p = 0.40). Both hospitals experienced system-related errors (0.73 and 0.51 per admission), which accounted for 35% of postsystem errors in the intervention wards; each system was associated with different types of system-related errors.
Conclusions
Implementation of these commercial e-prescribing systems resulted in statistically significant reductions in prescribing error rates. Reductions in clinical errors were limited in the absence of substantial decision support, but a statistically significant decline in serious errors was observed. System-related errors require close attention as they are frequent, but are potentially remediable by system redesign and user training. Limitations included a lack of control wards at Hospital B and an inability to randomize wards to the intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Medication errors—for example, prescribing the wrong drug or giving a drug by the wrong route—frequently occur in health care settings and are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Until recently, medicines were prescribed and dispensed using systems based on hand-written scripts. In hospitals, for example, physicians wrote orders for medications directly onto a medication chart, which was then used by the nursing staff to give drugs to their patients. However, drugs are now increasingly being prescribed using electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) systems. With these systems, prescribers use a computer and order medications for their patients with the help of a drug information database and menu items, free text boxes, and prewritten orders for specific conditions (so-called passive decision support). The system reviews the patient's medication and known allergy list and alerts the physician to any potential problems, including drug interactions (active decision support). Then after the physician has responded to these alerts, the order is transmitted electronically to the pharmacy and/or the nursing staff who administer the prescription.
Why Was This Study Done?
By avoiding the need for physicians to write out prescriptions and by providing active and passive decision support, e-prescribing has the potential to reduce medication errors. But, even though many countries are investing in expensive commercial e-prescribing systems, few studies have evaluated the effects of these systems on prescribing error rates. Moreover, little is known about the interactions between system design and errors despite fears that e-prescribing might introduce new errors. In this study, the researchers analyze prescribing error rates in hospital in-patients before and after the implementation of two commercial e-prescribing systems.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers examined medication charts for procedural errors (unclear, incomplete, or illegal orders) and for clinical errors (for example, wrong drug or dose) at two Australian hospitals before and after the introduction of commercial e-prescribing systems. At Hospital A, the Cerner Millennium e-prescribing system was introduced on one ward; three other wards acted as controls. At Hospital B, the researchers compared the error rates on two wards before and after the introduction of the iSoft MedChart e-prescribing system. The introduction of an e-prescribing system was associated with a substantial reduction in error rates in the three intervention wards; error rates on the control wards did not change significantly during the study. At Hospital A, medication errors declined from 6.25 to 2.12 per admission after the introduction of e-prescribing whereas at Hospital B, they declined from 3.62 to 1.46 per admission. This reduction in error rates was mainly driven by a reduction in procedural error rates and there was only a limited change in overall clinical error rates. Notably, however, the rate of serious errors decreased across the intervention wards from 0.25 to 0.14 per admission (a 44% reduction), whereas the serious error rate only decreased by 17% in the control wards during the study. Finally, system-related errors (for example, selection of an inappropriate drug located on a drop-down menu next to a likely drug selection) accounted for 35% of errors in the intervention wards after the implementation of e-prescribing.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the implementation of these two e-prescribing systems markedly reduced hospital in-patient prescribing error rates, mainly by reducing the number of incomplete, illegal, or unclear medication orders. The limited decision support built into both the e-prescribing systems used here may explain the limited reduction in clinical error rates but, importantly, both e-prescribing systems reduced serious medication errors. Finally, the high rate of system-related errors recorded in this study is worrying but is potentially remediable by system redesign and user training. Because this was a “real-world” study, it was not possible to choose the intervention wards randomly. Moreover, there was no control ward at Hospital B, and the wards included in the study had very different specialties. These and other aspects of the study design may limit the generalizability of these findings, which need to be confirmed and extended in additional studies. Even so, these findings provide persuasive evidence of the current and potential ability of commercial e-prescribing systems to reduce prescribing errors in hospital in-patients provided these systems are continually monitored and refined to improve their performance.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001164.
ClinfoWiki has pages on medication errors and on electronic prescribing (note: the Clinical Informatics Wiki is a free online resource that anyone can add to or edit)
Electronic prescribing in hospitals challenges and lessons learned describes the implementation of e-prescribing in UK hospitals; more information about e-prescribing in the UK is available on the NHS Connecting for Health Website
The Clinicians Guide to e-Prescribing provides up-to-date information about e-prescribing in the USA
Information about e-prescribing in Australia is also available
Information about electronic health records in Australia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001164
PMCID: PMC3269428  PMID: 22303286
10.  Classifying and Predicting Errors of Inpatient Medication Reconciliation 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2008;23(9):1414-1422.
Background
Failure to reconcile medications across transitions in care is an important source of potential harm to patients. Little is known about the predictors of unintentional medication discrepancies and how, when, and where they occur.
Objective
To determine the reasons, timing, and predictors of potentially harmful medication discrepancies.
Design
Prospective observational study.
Patients
Admitted general medical patients.
Measurements
Study pharmacists took gold-standard medication histories and compared them with medical teams’ medication histories, admission and discharge orders. Blinded teams of physicians adjudicated all unexplained discrepancies using a modification of an existing typology. The main outcome was the number of potentially harmful unintentional medication discrepancies per patient (potential adverse drug events or PADEs).
Results
Among 180 patients, 2066 medication discrepancies were identified, and 257 (12%) were unintentional and had potential for harm (1.4 per patient). Of these, 186 (72%) were due to errors taking the preadmission medication history, while 68 (26%) were due to errors reconciling the medication history with discharge orders. Most PADEs occurred at discharge (75%). In multivariable analyses, low patient understanding of preadmission medications, number of medication changes from preadmission to discharge, and medication history taken by an intern were associated with PADEs.
Conclusions
Unintentional medication discrepancies are common and more often due to errors taking an accurate medication history than errors reconciling this history with patient orders. Focusing on accurate medication histories, on potential medication errors at discharge, and on identifying high-risk patients for more intensive interventions may improve medication safety during and after hospitalization.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0687-9
PMCID: PMC2518028  PMID: 18563493
medication errors; medication systems, hospital; continuity of patient care; inpatients
11.  Collaborative pharmaceutical care in an Irish hospital: uncontrolled before-after study 
BMJ Quality & Safety  2014;23(7):574-583.
Background
We investigated the benefits of the Collaborative Pharmaceutical Care in Tallaght Hospital (PACT) service versus standard ward-based clinical pharmacy in adult inpatients receiving acute medical care, particularly on prevalence of medication error and quality of prescribing.
Methods
Uncontrolled before-after study, undertaken in consecutive adult medical inpatients admitted and discharged alive, using at least three medications. Standard care involved clinical pharmacists being ward-based, contributing to medication history taking and prescription review, but not involved at discharge. The innovative PACT intervention involved clinical pharmacists being team-based, leading admission and discharge medication reconciliation and undertaking prescription review. Primary outcome measures were prevalence per patient of medication error and potentially severe error. Secondary measures included quality of prescribing using the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) in patients aged ≥65 years.
Findings
Some 233 patients (112 PACT, 121 standard) were included. PACT decreased the prevalence of any medication error at discharge (adjusted OR 0.07 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.15)); number needed to treat (NNT) 3 (95% CI 2 to 3) and no PACT patient experienced a potentially severe error (NNT 20, 95% CI 10 to 142). In patients aged ≥65 years (n=108), PACT improved the MAI score from preadmission to discharge (Mann–Whitney U p<0.05; PACT median −1, IQR −3.75 to 0; standard care median +1, IQR −1 to +6).
Conclusions
PACT, a collaborative model of pharmaceutical care involving medication reconciliation and review, delivered by clinical pharmacists and physicians, at admission, during inpatient care and at discharge was protective against potentially severe medication errors in acute medical patients and improved the quality of prescribing in older patients.
doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002188
PMCID: PMC4078714  PMID: 24505112
Medication reconciliation; Medication safety; Pharmacists; Transitions in care; Teamwork
12.  Student pharmacist initiated medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting 
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(2):78-82.
The Joint Commission continues to emphasize the importance of medication reconciliation in all practice settings. Pharmacists and student pharmacists are uniquely trained in this aspect of patient care, and can assist with keeping accurate and complete medication records through patient interview in the outpatient setting.
Objective
The objective of this study was to quantify and describe medication reconciliation efforts by student pharmacists in an outpatient family medicine center.
Methods
A retrospective review was conducted of all standard medication reconciliation forms completed by student pharmacists during patient interviews from April 2010 to July 2010. The number of reviews conducted was recorded, along with the frequency of each type of discrepancy. A discrepancy was defined as any lack of agreement between the medication list in the electronic health record (EHR) and the patient-reported regimen and included any differences in dose or frequency of a medication, duplication of the same medication, medication no longer taken or omission of any medication.
Results
A total of 213 standard medication forms from the 4 month period were reviewed. A total of 555 discrepancies were found, including medications no longer taken, prescription medications that needed to be added to the EHR, over-the-counter(OTC) and herbal medications that needed to be added to the EHR, medications taken differently than recorded in the EHR, and medication allergies which needed to be updated. An average of 2.6 discrepancies was found per patient interviewed.
Conclusions
Student pharmacist-initiated medication reconciliation in an outpatient family medicine center resulted in the resolution of numerous discrepancies in the medication lists of individual patients. Pharmacists and student pharmacists are uniquely trained in medication history taking and play a vital role in medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting.
PMCID: PMC3780482  PMID: 24155821
Medication Reconciliation; Continuity of Patient Care; Electronic Health Records; Students, Pharmacy; United States
13.  Best Possible Medication History in the Emergency Department: Comparing Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacists 
Background:
Obtaining an accurate and complete medication list (i.e., the best possible medication history [BPMH]) is the first step in completing medication reconciliation. The ability of pharmacy technicians to obtain medication histories, relative to that of pharmacists, has not been formally assessed.
Objectives:
To determine whether pharmacy technicians at the authors’ institution could obtain a BPMH as accurately and completely as pharmacists and if both groups met national norms for unintentional discrepancies and the success index for medication reconciliation.
Methods:
Pharmacy technicians were trained in obtaining a BPMH at the beginning of the study, before any patients were enrolled. Patients presenting to the emergency department were prospectively enrolled to be interviewed separately by both a pharmacist and a technician, with information recorded on standard medication reconciliation forms. The completed forms for each patient were compared following each set of interviews, and discrepancies were clarified with the patient.
Results:
Fifty-nine patients were included in the study, and 3 pharmacists and 2 technicians obtained the histories. There was no significant difference between pharmacists and technicians in terms of discrepancies involving prescription drugs (χ2 = 0.52, df = 1, n = 118, p = 0.47, Cramer’s V for effect size = 0.07) or over-the-counter medications (χ2 = 0.09, df = 1, n = 118, p = 0.77, Cramer’s V = 0.03). The mean number of discrepancies per patient did not differ significantly between the pharmacists and technicians (t = 0.15, df = 58, p = 0.88 for prescription drugs; t = −0.22, df = 58, p = 0.83 for over-the-counter products). For both groups, the number of unintentional discrepancies per patient was significantly lower and the success index for medication reconciliation significantly higher than the national average.
Conclusions:
Trained pharmacy technicians at the authors’ institution were able to obtain a BPMH with as much accuracy and completeness as pharmacists. Both groups were significantly superior to the national average in terms of unintentional discrepancies and success index for medication reconciliation.
PMCID: PMC2999367  PMID: 22479003
medication reconciliation; pharmacy technician; best possible medication history; BPMH; emergency department; bilan comparatif des médicaments; technicien en pharmacie; meilleur schéma thérapeutique possible; MSTP; service des urgences
14.  Establishment and Evaluation of Pharmacist-Managed Admission Medication History and Reconciliation Process for Pediatric Patients 
OBJECTIVE: This was a single-center, prospective, pilot study aiming to evaluate the impact of pharmacist involvement in the admission medication history and reconciliation process and to quantify discrepancies found by pharmacists when compared to information collected by other health care providers at a pediatric institution.
METHODS: A pharmacist completed a thorough medication history and reconciled discrepancies with the medical team. Discrepancies included incorrect medication, dose, route, frequency; omitted information; missing medications; or any other inconsistencies outside of these categories. Information was documented in the electronic medical record via a standardized template, and pertinent discrepancies were communicated with the medical team.
RESULTS: Of the 100 medication histories included in the study, a total of 309 discrepancies were identified and corrected in the electronic medical record. The median length of time it took pharmacists to complete the medication history process was 15 minutes per patient (interquartile range, 10–20 minutes). Thirty discrepancies were determined as pertinent and were reported as intervened on and communicated to the medical team.
CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that pharmacist-obtained admission medication histories and reconciliation have the potential to prevent potentially significant adverse drug reactions and have a positive impact on patient care.Index terms admission, history, medication, pharmacist, reconciliation
doi:10.5863/1551-6776-19.2.98
PMCID: PMC4093671  PMID: 25024669
admission; history; medication; pharmacist; reconciliation
15.  Using novel Canadian resources to improve medication reconciliation at discharge: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:150.
Background
Adverse drug events are responsible for up to 7% of all admissions to acute care hospitals. At least 58% of these are preventable, resulting from incomplete drug information, prescribing or dispensing errors, and overuse or underuse of medications. Effective implementation of medication reconciliation is considered essential to reduce preventable adverse drug events occurring at transitions between community and hospital care. An electronically enabled discharge reconciliation process represents an innovative approach to this problem.
Methods/Design
Participants will be recruited in Quebec and are eligible for inclusion if they are using prescription medication at admission, covered by the Quebec drug insurance plan, admitted from the community, 18 years or older, admitted to a general or intensive care medical or surgical unit, and discharged alive. A sample size of 3,714 will be required to detect a 5% reduction in adverse drug events. The intervention will comprise electronic retrieval of the community drug list, combined with an electronic discharge reconciliation module and an electronic discharge communication module. The primary outcomes will be adverse drug events occurring 30 days post-discharge, identified by a combination of patient self-report and chart abstraction. All emergency room visits and hospital readmission during this period will be measured as secondary outcomes. A cluster randomization approach will be used to allocate 16 medical and 10 surgical units to electronic discharge reconciliation and communication versus usual care. An intention-to-treat approach will be used to analyse data. Logistic regression will be undertaken within a generalized estimating equation framework to account for clustering within units.
Discussion
The goal of this prospective trial is to determine if electronically enabled discharge reconciliation will reduce the risk of adverse drug events, emergency room visits and readmissions 30 days post-discharge compared with usual care. We expect that this intervention will improve adherence to medication reconciliation at discharge, the accuracy of the community-based drug history and effective communication of hospital-based treatment changes to community care providers. The results may support policy-directed investments in computerizing and training of hospital staff, generate key requirements for future hospital accreditation standards, and highlight functional requirements for software vendors.
Trial registration
NCT01179867
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-150
PMCID: PMC3502593  PMID: 22920446
Adverse events; Medication reconciliation; Transitions in care
16.  Pharmacist’s Role in Improving Medication Safety for Patients in an Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Ambulatory Clinic 
Background:
Patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT), supported by complex drug regimens, are vulnerable to drug therapy problems (DTPs) at interfaces of care after discharge from hospital and may benefit from timely pharmacy interventions and education.
Objective:
To determine the effect on medication safety of, as well as potential barriers to, incorporating a pharmacist in the multidisciplinary team of an allo-HCT clinic.
Methods:
Two pharmacists rotated to attend the allo-HCT clinic of a tertiary care, university-affiliated cancer centre between January and June 2010 (coverage for 1 of 3 clinic days per week). For every patient who was seen by a pharmacist, all discharge medications were reconciled from the inpatient ward to the clinic. The pharmacists’ primary task was to perform medication reconciliation and to identify and resolve DTPs. The pharmacists also provided medication education to patients and pharmacy consultations to clinic staff. Working with the outpatient pharmacy, the pharmacists helped to clarify prescriptions and drug coverage issues. Medication discrepancies identified and interventions performed by the pharmacists were recorded and were later graded for clinical significance by a panel of clinicians. Patient and staff satisfaction surveys were conducted at random during the study period. Barriers to the flow of patient care and other operational issues were documented.
Results:
The 2 pharmacists saw a total of 35 patients over 100 visits. They identified a total of 50 medication discrepancies involving 17 (49%) of the patients and 70 DTPs involving 23 (66%) of the patients. Thirty-one of the 70 DTPs resulted directly from a medication discrepancy. Twenty (95%) of the 21 unintentional medication discrepancies and 7 (70%) of the 10 undocumented intentional medication discrepancies were graded as clinically significant or moderately significant. Satisfaction surveys completed by patients and clinic staff yielded positive responses supporting pharmacists’ participation.
Conclusions:
Pharmacists working as part of the multidisciplinary team identified and resolved medication discrepancies, thereby improving medication safety at the allo-HCT clinic.
PMCID: PMC3633495  PMID: 23616675
medication reconciliation; medication discrepancy; drug therapy problems; medication safety; allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; ambulatory clinic; bilan comparatif des médicaments; divergence médicamenteuse; problèmes pharmacothérapeutiques; sécurité des médicaments; greffe allogénique de cellules souches hématopoïétiques; unité de soins ambulatoires
17.  Inpatient Medication Reconciliation at Admission and Discharge: A Retrospective Cohort Study of Age and Other Risk Factors for Medication Discrepancies 
Background
Medication discrepancies are unintended differences between medication regimens (ie, between a patient’s home regimen and medications prescribed on admission to the hospital).
Objective
The goal of this study was to describe the incidence, drug classes, and probable importance of hospital admission medication discrepancies and discharge regimen differences, and to determine whether factors such as age and specific hospital services were associated with greater frequency of medication discrepancies and differences.
Methods
This was a retrospective cohort study of a random sample of adult patients admitted to the general medicine, cardiology, or general surgery services of a tertiary care academic teaching hospital between July 1, 2006, and August 31, 2006. A chart review was performed to collect the following information: patient demographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, number of preadmission medications, discrepant medications identified by the hospital’s reconciliation process, reasons for the discrepancies, and discharge medications that differed from the home regimen. Potentially high-risk discrepancies and differences were identified by determining if the medications were included on either the Institute for Safe Medication Practices high-alert list or the North Carolina Narrow Therapeutic Index list. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with medication discrepancies and differences.
Results
Of the 205 patients (mean age, 59.9 years; 116 men, 89 women; 60% white) included in the study, 27 did not have any medications recorded on admission. Of the 178 patients who did have medications listed, 41 had ≥1 discrepancy identified by the reconciliation process on admission (23%; 95% CI, 17–29); 19% (95% CI, 11–31) of these medications were considered to be potentially high risk. In the multivariate logistic regression model, age (odds ratio [OR] per 5-year increase = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01–1.33; P = 0.035), presence of high-risk medications on admission (OR = 76.68; 95% CI, 9.13–643.76; P < 0.001), and general surgery service (OR = 3.31; 95% CI, 1.40–7.87; P < 0.007) were associated with a higher proportion of patients with discrepancies on admission. At discharge, 196 patients (96% [95% CI, 93–98]) had ≥1 medication change from their home regimen, with 1102 total differences for 205 patients. Less than half (44% [95% CI, 37–51]) of these patients were explicitly alerted at discharge to new medications or dose changes; 12% (95% CI, 7–18) were given written instructions to stop taking discontinued home medications. Cardiovascular drugs were the most frequent class involved at both admission (31%) and discharge (27%) in medication discrepancies or differences.
Conclusions
Medication discrepancies on admission and medication differences at discharge were prevalent for adult patients admitted to the general medicine, cardiology, and general surgery services in this academic teaching hospital. Medication reconciliation processes have a high potential to identify clinically important discrepancies for all patients.
doi:10.1016/j.amjopharm.2010.04.002
PMCID: PMC3740385  PMID: 20439061
medication reconciliation; medication discrepancies; transitions of care; patient safety
18.  Pharmacy-Based Medication Reconciliation Program Utilizing Pharmacists and Technicians: A Process Improvement Initiative 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(2):112-119.
Background:
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have an opportunity to impact the quality of the medication histories and improve patient safety by ensuring accurate medication lists are obtained and complete reconciliation has occurred with the admission medication orders by owning the admission medication reconciliation process.
Objective:
To compare the quality of a pharmacy-based medication reconciliation program on admission utilizing pharmacists and technicians to the usual multidisciplinary process.
Methods:
This was a retrospective chart review process improvement study at a 186-bed tertiary care inpatient facility. Primary outcomes included both the accuracy of pre-admission medications listed and the reconciliation of those medications with admission inpatient orders. Technicians obtained patient medication histories. Pharmacists checked the technician-obtained medication histories and ensured reconciliation of those medications with admission orders.
Results:
Medication accuracy increased from 45.8% to 95% per patient (P < .001) and medication reconciliation increased from 44.2% to 92.8% (P < .001) and remained above benchmark.
Conclusion:
A pharmacy-based medication reconciliation program utilizing both pharmacists and technicians significantly increased the accuracy and reconciliation of medications on admission. These gains were maintained for the duration of the 6-month period studied and beyond per continued process improvement data collection.
doi:10.1310/hpj4802-112
PMCID: PMC3839485  PMID: 24421448
admission; medication reconciliation; process improvement
19.  Improving medication management for patients: the effect of a pharmacist on post-admission ward rounds 
Quality & safety in health care  2005;14(3):207-211.


Problem: Medication management in the NHS has been highlighted by the UK Department of Health as an area for improvement. Pharmacist participation on post-take (post-admission) ward rounds was shown to reduce medication errors and reduced prescribing costs in the USA and in UK teaching hospitals, which can contribute to improved medication management. We sought to demonstrate the problem in our hospital by collecting data on prescribing practice from three consecutive general medical post-take ward rounds.
Setting: Northwick Park Hospital, a district general hospital in north-west London, which provides acute medical services to a population of 300 000.
Strategy for change: A pharmacist was invited to become a member of the post-take ward round team that reviewed medical patients admitted within the preceding 24 hours. Patients also continued to receive care from a ward based pharmacist. Patient notes were analysed for cost of drugs on admission and discharge, discrepancies between admission drug history and pharmacist history, number of admission drugs stopped before discharge, and pharmacist recommendations. Pharmacist recommendations and actions were classified using a National Patient Safety Agency risk matrix.
Effects of change: Discrepancies between the admission and the pharmacist derived drug history were noted in 26 of 50 in the pre-intervention group and 52 of 53 in the intervention group. The annual drug cost per patient following discharge increased by £181 in the pre-intervention group and by £122 in the intervention group. Five pre-admission drugs were stopped in three pre-intervention patients saving £276 per annum, while the 42 drugs stopped in 19 intervention patients saved £4699 per annum. No ward based pharmacist recommendations were recorded in the pre-intervention group. Recommendations regarding drug choice, dose, and need for drug treatment were most common; 58 minor, 48 moderate and four major risks to patients were potentially avoided.
Lessons learnt: The presence of a pharmacist on a post-take ward round improved the accuracy of drug history documentation, reduced prescribing costs, and decreased the potential risk to patients in our hospital. As a result of this work a full time pharmacist has now been funded to attend daily post-take ward rounds on a permanent basis.
doi:10.1136/qshc.2004.011759
PMCID: PMC1744029  PMID: 15933319
20.  Reconcilable differences: correcting medication errors at hospital admission and discharge 
Quality & Safety in Health Care  2006;15(2):122-126.
Background
Medication errors at the time of hospital admission and discharge are common and can lead to preventable adverse drug events. The objective of this study was to describe the potential impact of a medication reconciliation process to identify and rectify medication errors at the time of hospital admission and discharge.
Methods
Sixty randomly selected patients were prospectively enrolled at the time of admission to a Canadian community hospital. At admission, patients' medication orders were compared with pre‐admission medication use based on medication vials and interviews with patients, caregivers, and/or outpatient healthcare providers. At discharge, pre‐admission and in‐patient medications were compared with discharge orders and written instructions. All variances were discussed with the prescribing physician and classified as intended or unintended; unintended variances were considered to be medication errors. An internist classified the clinical importance of each unintended variance.
Results
Overall, 60% (95% CI 48 to 72) of patients had at least one unintended variance and 18% (95% CI 9 to 28) had at least one clinically important unintended variance. None of the variances had been detected by usual clinical practice before reconciliation was conducted. Of the 20 clinically important variances, 75% (95% CI 56 to 94) were intercepted by medication reconciliation before patients were harmed.
Discussion
Unintended medication variances at the time of hospital admission and discharge are common and clinically important. The medication reconciliation process identified and addressed most of these unintended variances before harm occurred. In this small study, medication reconciliation was a useful method for identifying and rectifying medication errors at times of transition. Reconciliation warrants broader evaluation.
doi:10.1136/qshc.2005.015347
PMCID: PMC2464829  PMID: 16585113
medication reconciliation; continuity of patient care; safety management; medication errors
21.  Effect of a care transition intervention by pharmacists: an RCT 
Background
Pharmacists may improve medication-related outcomes during transitions of care. The aim of the Iowa Continuity of Care Study was to determine if a pharmacist case manager (PCM) providing a faxed discharge medication care plan from a tertiary care institution to primary care could improve medication appropriateness and reduce adverse events, rehospitalization and emergency department visits.
Methods
Design. Randomized, controlled trial of 945 participants assigned to enhanced, minimal and usual care groups conducted 2007 to 2012. Subjects. Participants with cardiovascular-related conditions and/or asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were recruited from the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics following admission to general medicine, family medicine, cardiology or orthopedics. Intervention. The minimal group received admission history, medication reconciliation, patient education, discharge medication list and medication recommendations to inpatient team. The enhanced group also received a faxed medication care plan to their community physician and pharmacy and telephone call 3–5 days post-discharge. Participants were followed for 90 days post-discharge. Main Outcomes and Measures. Medication appropriateness index (MAI), adverse events, adverse drug events and post-discharge healthcare utilization were compared by study group using linear and logistic regression, as models accommodating random effects due to pharmacists indicated little clustering.
Results
Study groups were similar at baseline and the intervention fidelity was high. There were no statistically significant differences by study group in medication appropriateness, adverse events or adverse drug events at discharge, 30-day and 90-day post-discharge. The average MAI per medication as 0.53 at discharge and increased to 0.75 at 90 days, and this was true across all study groups. Post-discharge, about 16% of all participants experienced an adverse event, and this did not differ by study group (p > 0.05). Almost one-third of all participants had any type of healthcare utilization within 30 days post-discharge, where 15% of all participants had a 30-day readmission. Healthcare utilization post-discharge was not statistically significant different at 30 or 90 days by study group.
Conclusion
The pharmacist case manager did not affect medication use outcomes post-discharge perhaps because quality of care measures were high in all study groups.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov registration: NCT00513903, August 7, 2007.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-406
PMCID: PMC4262237  PMID: 25234932
Clinical pharmacist; Care transitions; Continuity of care; Medication reconciliation; Medication care plan
22.  A Program Using Pharmacy Technicians to Collect Medication Histories in the Emergency Department 
Pharmacy and Therapeutics  2015;40(1):56-61.
When specially trained pharmacy technicians took patients’ medication histories in a hospital emergency department, the histories they conducted were accurate 88% of the time compared with 57% of those conducted by nurses, who had other duties.
Purpose:
To evaluate the percentage, frequency, and types of medication history errors made by pharmacy technicians compared with nurses in the emergency department (ED) to determine if patient safety and care can be improved while reducing nurses’ workloads.
Methods:
Medication history errors were evaluated in a pre-post study comparing a historical control group (nurses) prior to the implementation of a pharmacy technician program in the ED to a prospective cohort group (pharmacy technicians). Two certified pharmacy technicians were trained by the post-graduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy practice resident to conduct medication history interviews in a systematic fashion, with outside resources (i.e., assisted living facility, pharmacy, physician’s office, or family members) being consulted if any portion of the medication history was unclear or lacking information. The primary outcome compared the percentage of patients with accurate medication histories in each group. Secondary outcomes included differences between groups regarding total medication errors, types of errors, documentation of patient allergies and drug reactions, and documentation of last administration times for high-risk anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications. Accuracy was determined by reviewing each documented medication history for identifiable errors, including review of electronic generated prescriptions within the hospital system as well as physician notes or histories documented on the same day (for potential discrepancies). This review was performed by the pharmacy resident. The categories of errors included a drug omission, a drug commission, an incorrect or missing drug, an incorrect or missing dose, or an incorrect or missing frequency. Anonymous surveys were distributed to ED nurses to assess their feedback on the new medication reconciliation program using pharmacy technicians.
Results:
A total of 300 medication histories from the ED were evaluated (150 in each group). Medication histories conducted by pharmacy technicians were accurate 88% of the time compared with 57% of those conducted by nurses (P < 0.0001). Nineteen errors (1.1%) were made by pharmacy technicians versus 117 (8.3%) by nurses (relative risk [RR], 7.5; P < 0.0001). The most common type of error was an incorrect or missing dose (10 versus 59, P < 0.001), followed by an incorrect or missing frequency (0 versus 30, P < 0.0001), and a drug commission (5 versus 23, P = 0.004). There were no differences between groups regarding the documentation of patient allergies. Documentation rates of high-risk anticoagulant and antiplatelet administration times were greater for pharmacy technicians than for nurses (76% versus 13%, P < 0.001).
Conclusion:
This study demonstrates that trained pharmacy technicians can assist prescribers and nurses by improving the accuracy of medication histories obtained in the ED.
PMCID: PMC4296593  PMID: 25628508
23.  Results of the Medications At Transitions and Clinical Handoffs (MATCH) Study: An Analysis of Medication Reconciliation Errors and Risk Factors at Hospital Admission 
Background
This study was designed to determine risk factors and potential harm associated with medication errors at hospital admission.
Methods
Study pharmacist and hospital-physician medication histories were compared with medication orders to identify unexplained history and order discrepancies in 651 adult medicine service inpatients with 5,701 prescription medications. Discrepancies resulting in order changes were considered errors. Logistic regression was used to analyze the association of patient demographic and clinical characteristics including patients’ number of pre-admission prescription medications, pharmacies, prescribing physicians and medication changes; and presentation of medication bottles or lists. These factors were tested after controlling for patient demographics, admitting service and severity of illness.
Results
Over one-third of study patients (35.9%) experienced 309 order errors; 85% of patients had errors originate in medication histories, and almost half were omissions. Cardiovascular agents were commonly in error (29.1%). If undetected, 52.4% of order errors were rated as potentially requiring increased monitoring or intervention to preclude harm; 11.7% were rated as potentially harmful. In logistic regression analysis, patient’s age ≥65 [odds ratio (OR), 2.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–4.30] and number of prescription medications (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.14–1.29) were significantly associated with errors potentially requiring monitoring or causing harm. Presenting a medication list (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.19–0.63) or bottles (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.27–1.10) at admission was beneficial.
Conclusion
Over one-third of the patients in our study had a medication error at admission, and of these patients, 85% had errors originate in their medication histories. Attempts to improve the accuracy of medication histories should focus on older patients with a large number of medications. Primary care physicians and other clinicians should help patients utilize and maintain complete, accurate and understandable medication lists.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1256-6
PMCID: PMC2855002  PMID: 20180158
medication reconciliation; medication errors; medication history taking
24.  A multicentre, double-blind, randomised, controlled, parallel-group study of the effectiveness of a pharmacist-acquired medication history in an emergency department 
Background
Admission to an emergency department (ED) is a key vulnerable moment when patients are at increased risk of medication discrepancies and medication histories are an effective way of ensuring that fewer errors are made. This study measured whether a pharmacist-acquired medication history in an ED focusing on a patient’s current home medication regimen, and available to be used by a doctor when consulting in the ED, would reduce the number of patients having at least 1 medication discrepancy related to home medication.
Methods
This multicentre, double-blind, randomised, controlled parallel-group study was conducted at 3 large teaching hospitals. Two hundred and seventy participants were randomly allocated to an intervention (n = 134) or a standard care (n = 136) arm. All consecutive patients >18 years old admitted through the ED were eligible. The intervention consisted of pharmacists conducting a standardised comprehensive medication history interview focusing on a patient’s current home medication regimen, prior to being seen by a doctor. Data recorded on the admission medication order form was available to be used by a doctor during consultation in the ED. The admission medication order form was given to doctors at a later stage in the control arm for them to amend prescriptions. The effect of the intervention was assessed primarily by comparing the number of patients having at least 1 admission medication discrepancy regarding medication being taken at home. Secondary outcomes concerned the characteristics and clinical severity of such medication discrepancies.
Results
The intervention reduced discrepancies occurring by 33% (p < 0.0001; 0.1055 odds ratio, 0.05-0.24 95% confidence interval), despite recall bias. Regarding total discrepancies, omitting medication occurred most frequently (55.1%) and most discrepancies (42.7%) were judged to have the potential to cause moderate discomfort or clinical deterioration.
Conclusions
A pharmacist-acquired medication history in an ED focusing on a patient’s current home medication regimen available to be used by a doctor at the time of consulting in the ED reduced the number of patients having at least 1 home medication-related discrepancy.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN63455839.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-337
PMCID: PMC3844415  PMID: 23984830
25.  Design and Implementation of an Application and Associated Services to Support Interdisciplinary Medication Reconciliation Efforts at an Integrated Healthcare Delivery Network 
Confusion about patients’ medication regimens during the hospital admission and discharge process accounts for many preventable and serious medication errors. Many organizations have begun to redesign their clinical processes to address this patient safety concern. Partners HealthCare, an integrated delivery network in Boston, Massachusetts, has answered this interdisciplinary challenge by leveraging its multiple outpatient electronic medical records (EMR) and inpatient computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems to facilitate the process of medication reconciliation. This manuscript describes the design of a novel application and the associated services that aggregate medication data from EMR and CPOE systems so that clinicians can efficiently generate an accurate pre-admission medication list. Information collected with the use of this application subsequently supports the writing of admission and discharge orders by physicians, performance of admission assessment by nurses, and reconciliation of inpatient orders by pharmacists. Results from early pilot testing suggest that this new medication reconciliation process is well accepted by clinicians and has significant potential to prevent medication errors during transitions of care.
doi:10.1197/jamia.M2142
PMCID: PMC1656965  PMID: 17114640

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