OBJECTIVE: Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, with more than 50% of ADEs being preventable. Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are typically the result of an incomplete medication history, prescribing or dispensing error, as well as over- or under-use of prescribed pharmacotherapy. Medication reconciliation is the process of creating the most accurate list of medications a patient is taking and subsequently comparing the list against the different transitions of care. It is used to reduce medication discrepancies, and thereby ultimately decreasing ADEs. However, little is known about medicine reconciliation activities among public hospitals in South Africa.
METHODS: Prospective quantitative, descriptive design among Internal and Surgical wards in a leading public hospital in South Africa.
RESULTS: 145 study participants were enrolled. Over 1300 (1329) medicines were reviewed of which there was a significant difference (p = 0.006) when comparing the medications that the patient was taking before or during hospitalisation. A total of 552 (41.53%) interventions were undertaken and the majority of patients had at least 3.96 medication discrepancies. The most common intervention upon admission was transcribing the home medication onto the hospital prescription (65.2%) followed by medication duplication (13.44%). During patient's hospital stay, interventions included patient counselling (32.5%) and stopping the previous treatment (37.5%).
CONCLUSION: To ensure continuity of patient care, medication reconciliation should be implemented throughout patients' hospital stay. This involves all key professionals in hospitals.
- Medication reconciliation
- South Africa
- medication errors
- pharmaceutical care