Medication Reconciliation During Admission to an Internal Medicine Department: A Pilot Study
Keywords:Internal Medicine, Medication Errors, Medication Reconciliation, Patient Safety, Transitional Care
Introduction: The purpose of medication reconciliation is to promote patient safety by reducing medication errors and adverse events due to medication discrepancies in transition of care. The aim of this pilot study of medication reconciliation at the time of hospital admission was to identify the necessary resources for its implementation in clinical practice.
Material and Methods: Pilot study with 100 patients admitted to an Internal Medicine department between October and December 2019, aged 18 and over, and chronically taking at least one medicine. The best possible medication history was obtained systematically, with subsequent identification, classification and resolution of the discrepancies.
Results: The study sample, in general characterized by polypharmacy and by having multiple long-term conditions, presented a mean age of 77.04 ± 13.74 years, being 67.0% male. Overall, 791 discrepancies were identified. Intentional discrepancies were 95.7% and 50.9% of them were documented. The difficulties encountered were mainly related with the access and quality of therapeutic information and communication problems between different healthcare professionals. The key priority resources that were identified were related with the process, tools, and personnel categories.
Conclusion: The data revealed weaknesses in the clinical records available at the primary/hospital care interface. Optimization of data sources, standardization and informatization of the process, multidisciplinary approach and definition of priority groups were identified as opportunities for optimization.
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