La Jolla Medication Reconciliation Services
“Bring your medication history with you.”
It is a directive with which many of us are familiar. Healthcare providers frequently issue this request when an appointment is scheduled, especially with a new patient. Known as medication reconciliation, it is intended to help medical practitioners avoid harming their patients.
Relying on a patient to accurately account for their medication history is a gamble. Generally speaking, people are poor historians of their medical records. Changing insurance providers, shifting between primary care physicians, and receiving emergency care are all contributing factors to the difficulty in maintaining accurate medication histories for ourselves. It is easy to overlook a medication administered during an emergency room visit long forgotten, or an antibiotic taken 20 years ago that did not quite agree with you.
Medication reconciliation is considered important enough that it was incorporated into the National Patient Safety Goals (1) in 2011 as part of Goal 3: Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers. Under the goal are the following suggestions:
- The labeling of all medications, medication containers, and other solutions. This includes on and off the sterile field and in perioperative and other routine venues.
- The reduction of the likelihood of patient harm occurring due to the use of anticoagulant therapy
- The maintenance and ongoing communication of accurate patient medication information
The third directive under Goal 3 was added on July 1, 2011. The goals are established by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, based on emergent patient safety issues identified by recognized experts and stakeholders in the healthcare industry.
Even with additional emphasis on and recognition of the importance of medication reconciliation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates that half of all medication errors (2) are due to the inaccurate recounting of medication history. Of those, 20 percent have resulted in adverse drug events for patients while hospitalized.
Medication Reconciliation Best Practices
Correctly performed medication reconciliation can prevent several medication errors. Among the most common errors are:
- Missing or duplicating doses of medication
- Administering incorrect doses and dosage forms
- Failing to prescribe medications needed at home following a hospital stay
- Duplicating therapy following discharge resulting from brand/generic name combinations or substitutions of hospital formularies
Even with the addition of the importance of medication reconciliation in the National Patient Safety Goals, there is still room for improvement in reaching the objective. This is where best practices for effective medication reconciliation come into play.
1. Preemptive planning process
Healthcare practitioners seeing a patient for the first time should begin the process before the patient’s scheduled appointment day. Even healthcare professionals seeing a regular patient should ask for an updated list of medications before any routine procedures or surgeries to ensure all records are up to date. In a country with emergency clinics and other urgent care options, primary care physicals cannot take for granted that regular patients have not received care elsewhere that included a new prescription medication.
2. Putting the right professionals in charge of the information
Several studies have indicated that placing pharmacists and registered nurses (RNs) in charge of maintaining accurate medication lists increases the accuracy of the information. One such study (3) noted improved accuracy of the process when pharmacists, rather than physicians, were placed in charge of medication reconciliation. In the study, pharmacists were able to identify 353 discrepancies, of which 58 had not been discovered by physicians reviewing the same information.
3. Creating a position responsible for the verification process
Mistakes can happen in busy medical practices and facilities where the burden of medication reconciliation is placed on support staff like certified nurse assistants (CNAs). Support staff members tasked with this process likely are just checking off boxes in a predetermined list as part of the patient intake process. Without the benefit of an in-depth discussion about medications, this process will likely miss something important.
4. Prioritizing the education and involvement of patients
Educate and involve patients in the reconciliation process. This can include the placement of posters and other informational documentation in healthcare settings. It also may involve the use of and access to patient information portals that allow patients to easily update their information and keep medication lists current.
5. Maintaining consistency
Once a reconciliation protocol is formalized, maintain its consistency across the board. Every staff member in the healthcare facility — doctors, nurses, rotating residents — should be trained in and expected to strictly adhere to the process.
Eldahmy Wellness strictly adheres to best practices for medication reconciliation, ensuring the safe management of every patient’s medication history. You can trust in us to prevent costly medication errors.
Medication Reconciliation Process and Steps
Placing RNs or pharmacists in charge of the medication reconciliation process returns the best results. The pharmacists at Eldahmy Wellness follow these steps as part of our comprehensive medication reconciliation process.
Step one is to obtain an accurate and complete list of the patient’s current medications. This is known as a Best Possible Medication History (BPMH). Step two is to use the BPMH when admitting, transferring, or discharging a patient’s medication orders. Step three requires comparing the BPMH with any admission, transfer, or discharge medication orders to identify and correct any discrepancies. All changes should be noted in the patient’s official BPMH record.
Studies reveal the importance of following these medication reconciliation steps to prevent adverse drug events in patients. It is why the team at Eldahmy Wellness strictly adheres to them. Our dedicated professionals know this process is crucial to preventing readmissions of patients who are prescribed medications that are contradictory or increase the likelihood of serious side effects when taken at the same time.
Time constraints and inadequate staffing should never be excuses for failing to implement a reliable medication reconciliation process. Not sure where to start? Eldahmy Wellness can help. We know medication reconciliation is complicated. Our team of knowledgeable pharmacists goes above and beyond to ensure patient safety through an effective and thorough review process.
Why Choose Eldahmy For Medication Reconciliation In La Jolla
At Eldahmy, awareness, education, and adherence to medication reconciliation best practices and other health and wellness initiatives is a top priority. We understand the struggle that comes with obtaining cost-effective medications at affordable prices. Since 2017, our dedicated team has served healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, caregivers, and senior citizens. Our success centers on the level of care and consideration we provide to our clients. Reach out to us today to learn more.