Clinical question: Does the inclusion of a medication adherence counseling session during a hospital discharge reconciliation process reduce discrepancies in the final medication regimen?
Background: Inadvertent medication prescribing errors are an important cause of preventable adverse drug events and commonly occur at transitions of care. Although medication reconciliation processes can identify errors, the best strategies for implementation remain unclear.
Study design: Prospective, observational cohort.
Setting: A 550-bed teaching hospital in the Netherlands.
Synopsis: Of 437 patients admitted to a pulmonary ward and screened for eligibility, 267 were included in the analysis. A pharmacy specialist reviewed all available community prescription records, inpatient documentation, and discharge medication lists in an effort to identify discrepancies. Potential errors were discussed with the prescriber. Then, the pharmacy specialist interviewed the patient and provided additional counseling. Any new discrepancies were discussed with the prescriber. All questions raised by the pharmacist were recorded, as were all subsequent prescriber interventions.
The primary outcome measure was the number of interventions made as a result of pharmacy review. A total of 940 questions were asked. At least one intervention was recorded for 87% of patients before counseling (mean 2.7 interventions/patient) and for 97% of patients after (mean 5.3 interventions/patient). Discrepancies were addressed for 63.7% of patients before counseling and 72.5% after. Pharmacotherapy was optimized for 67.2% of patients before counseling and 76.3% after.
Bottom line: Patient engagement in the medication reconciliation process incrementally improves the quality of the history and helps identify clinically meaningful discrepancies at the time of hospital discharge.
Citation: Karapinar-Carkit F, Borgsteede S, Zoer J, Smit HJ, Egberts AC, van den Bemt P. Effect of medication reconciliation with and without patient counseling on the number of pharmaceutical interventions among patients discharged from the hospital. Ann Pharmacother. 2009;43(6):1001-1010.