International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 148–155 | Cite as

Impact of team-versus ward-aligned clinical pharmacy on unintentional medication discrepancies at admission

  • Sharon M Byrne
  • Tamasine C GrimesEmail author
  • Marie-Claire Jago-Byrne
  • Mairéad Galvin
Research Article


Background Medication reconciliation at admission to hospital reduces the prevalence of medication errors. Strategies are needed to ensure timely and efficient delivery of this service. Objective To investigate the effect of aligning clinical pharmacy services with consultant teams, by pharmacists attending post-admission ward rounds, in comparison to a ward-based service, on prevalence of unintentional unresolved discrepancies 48 h into admission. Setting A 243-bed public university teaching hospital in Ireland. Method A prospective, uncontrolled before-after observational study. A gold standard preadmission medication list was completed for each patient and compared with the patient’s admission medication prescription and discrepancies were noted. Unresolved discrepancies were examined at 48 h after admission to determine if they were intentional or unintentional. Main outcome measured Number of patients with one or more unintentional, unresolved discrepancy 48 h into admission. Results Data were collected for 140 patients, of whom 73.5% were over 65 years of age. There were no differences between before (ward-aligned) and after (team-aligned) groups regarding age, number of medications or comorbidities. There was a statistically significant reduction in the prevalence of unintentional, unresolved discrepancy(s) per patient (67.3 vs. 27.3%, p < 0.001) and per medication (13.7 vs. 4.1%, p < 0.001) between the groups, favouring the team-based service. The effect remained statistically significant having adjusted for patient age, number of medications and comorbidities (adjusted odds ratio 4.9, 95% confidence interval 2.3–10.6). Conclusion A consultant team-based clinical pharmacy service contributed positively to medication reconciliation at admission, reducing the prevalence of unintentional, unresolved discrepancy(s) present 48 h after admission.


Clinical pharmacy Hospital admission Ireland Medication reconciliation Medication safety Prescribing error 



We acknowledge the input of the doctors and pharmacists who supported the clinical significance grading of discrepancies.



Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naas General HospitalKildareIreland
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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