Medication report reduces number of medication errors when elderly patients are discharged from hospital
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Objective To investigate whether a Medication Report can reduce the number of medication errors when elderly patients are discharged from hospital. Method We conducted a prospective intervention with retrospective controls on patients at three departments at Lund University Hospital, Sweden that where transferred to primary care. The intervention group, where patients received a Medication Report at discharge, was compared with a control group with patients of the same age, who were not given a Medication Report when discharged from the same ward one year earlier. Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was the number of medication errors when elderly patients were discharged from hospital. Results Among 248 patients in the intervention group 79 (32%) had at least one medication error as compared with 118 (66%) among the 179 patients in the control group. In the intervention group 15% of the patients had errors that were considered to have moderate or high risk of clinical consequences compared with 32% in the control group. The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). Conclusion Medication errors are common when elderly patients are discharged from hospital. The Medication Report is a simple tool that reduces the number of medication errors.
KeywordsElderly Geriatric medicine Hospital discharge Medication errors Medication report Patient safety Prescribing Seamless care Sweden
We thank the students Linda Andersson, Hanna Fredricson and Nilla Swärdén for collecting all information on the patients’ drugs.
Funding: The department of Primary Care Development, The department of Research and Development in the county of Skåne, Apoteket AB and the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University.
Conflicts of interest: None declared.
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