Analysis of medication information exchange at discharge from a Dutch hospital
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Background At hospitalisation and discharge the risk of errors in medication information transfer is high. Objective To study the routes by which medication information is transferred during discharge from Deventer Hospital, and to improve medication information transfer. Setting Eight hospital wards of the Deventer Hospital. Method From December 6 to 17th 2010, the following data was recorded across eight hospital wards: the identification number of discharged patients, the date of discharge and the route by which medication information was transferred. The possible route categories recorded were the Pharmacy Service Point, the hospital’s public pharmacy, and “other” routes (which had to be specified). Validation of the data was performed by cross-checking the information collected by the hospital’s Admission Office, the Pharmacy Service Point and the hospital’s public pharmacy, in addition to electronic patient files, interviews with ward staff and, where necessary, interviews with the concerned patients. Main outcome measure Route of medication information transfer at discharge in all discharged patients. Results A total of 629 patients were included in the study. The routes of transfer were: Pharmacy Service Point 281 patients (44 %), the hospital’s public pharmacy 54 patients (9 %), and other routes 44 patients (7 %). Other routes were most recorded at the children’s ward, the short stay and cardiology ward. In 250 patients (40 %), there was no transfer of information by the Pharmacy Service Point because they were registered as using no medication or as experiencing no medication changes during hospitalisation. Conclusion Medication information was transferred for 53 % of the discharged patients, which is close to the maximum achievable result. Further improvement of medication transfer in Deventer Hospital can be made by adjusting the current procedure and by educating the ward staff about the importance and the clinical practice of this procedure.
KeywordsHospitalisation Hospital Discharge Hospital pharmacy Information transfer Medication errors The Netherlands
No special funding was received for this study.
Conflicts of interest
None to declare.
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