Medication reconciliation lacks standard processes in some hospitals

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 24, 2008

A new study shows that reconciling patient medications during hospitalization is an important quality improvement and patient safety goal, reports The Journal of Hospital Medicine. The survey, administered to attendees of the 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine meeting, was distributed to determine the implementation of various processes thus far. Only 42% of those surveyed said their facilities measured process compliance, and 34% said they were unsure of whether their institutions were monitoring compliance.

The results recognized various obstacles that prevented successful implementation of medication reconciliation. The survey documented that inpatient medication management is extremely disjointed; standard documentation is lacking along with an integration of information between care settings.

On top of this, issues arising at admission and discharge concerning various medications show a lack of clarity about which healthcare providers are responsible for specific process steps.

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