Understanding Medication Reconciliation

Medication Mistakes Are The Most Common Patient Safety Error, And Reconciling Medication Is An Effective Prevention Method.

Unintentional medication discrepancies that happen during a transition of care (such as a hospitalization and the subsequent discharge) are widespread. This represents a significant threat to patient safety. More than 20 percent of those errors result in patient harm. A priority of patient safety not only in hospitals but also across the entire continuum of health care is preventing any damage caused by the use of medications. This is known as an adverse drug event. Research shows that an active medication reconciliation process can detect and avert most medication discrepancies. Therefore, reconciling helps avoid a majority of adverse drug events as well as the related costs of additional care of the patients affected.

Many studies have demonstrated that by implementing medication reconciliation at all places where there is a transition in care — such as admission, transfer, and discharge — is the most effective strategy to use to prevent adverse drug events. Reconciling medications as patients move through the various health care settings is critical. This process involves a comparison of the patient’s current medication regimen against the orders of a physician’s to identify any deviations that occur at admission, transfer, or discharge.

What is Medication Reconciliation?

Medication reconciliation is a process of formulating an accurate and up to date record of all the medications a patient is taking as they move through the various health care settings. This list includes the name of the drug, frequency, dosage and administration route. By comparing this record against the physician’s admission, transfer, and discharge orders, the goal is to provide correct medications to the patient at all transition points. A pair of studies finds that when pharmacists take the lead in medication reconciliation, medication lists become more accurate, and medication errors decrease. 

It is essential patients adhere to their treatment plan. Always take note of what medications should and should not take after being admitted, discharged or transferred from a healthcare facility. Reconciling prescriptions ensures patients are taking correct doses of medication on time. It also ensures that the patient has a chart of all prescribed medications they are taking.

Role of Medication Management

Poor medication management can also cause patients to experience adverse reactions to other prescriptions. To better manage drug doses and schedules, patients should take other steps in combination with medication reconciliation, including:

  • Regular Doctor Visits – Make sure to understand when and how to take all prescriptions. Also, consult a physician if experiencing any side effects or complications.
  • Take As Prescribed – Do not skip doses or double-up on any medication. If a dosage is missed, always ask either your doctor or pharmacist what to do. They can also advise when to take the medication next.
  • Set Reminders – It is important to take all medication on time. If continually missing doses, then set up reminders. Do whatever is necessary to incorporate the treatment plan into a daily regimen.
  • Be Consistent – Following your treatment regimen step-by-step ensures receiving the best care with minimal symptoms.
  • Ask Questions – Do not hesitate to reach out if there are any concerns about the medications. It is advised to consult a doctor or pharmacist for help. Besides, there are online resources like DrugWatch.com which are available to assist at any time, day or night.

Also, keep in mind Hibernian Home Care where a Pharmacist and Registered Nurse comprise the executive team. This company specializes in medication management and reconciliation in the home, the best place to improve compliance. To find out more about their patient specific Home Care services conducted throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties, visit their website at www.HibernianHomeCare.com or contact them at 732-481-1148.

The company was founded and is operated by a Registered Nurse and a Pharmacist with over 40 years combined of direct patient care experience. This background is unique in the Home Care industry. By having such extensive training and knowledge of disease states and medications, our executive team at Hibernian Home Care understands the importance in maintaining one’s health in providing senior care. We establish an exclusive connection with an individual and their family to enable our clients to thrive, while preserving and improving the quality of life, all in the comfort of their own home.