Electronic Medication Reconciliation System
Lack of communication at transition points in patient care may be responsible for up to 50% of medication errors and up to 20% of adverse drug events in hospital. To help prevent these problems it is recommended by NICE that hospitals in the UK undertake a process of medicines reconciliation when patients are admitted and discharged.
Along with commercial partners, an electronic system for medicines reconciliation has been developed. This system ensures uniform recording of patient medication details in real time and the medication description is populated from the NHS dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d). Any issues with regards to the patient’s medicines at admission are addressed and any changes made during their hospital stay are accurately recorded.
The medication information recorded on the system is used to form the basis of the discharge medication list. This list is pre-populated from the medicines reconciliation record, leading to decreases in transcribing errors and the use of uniform descriptions with legible instructions. The information, at discharge, is integrated into the Trust’s patient centre system and can be accessed as a document in the patient’s electronic care record (ECR). It is also forwarded to primary care and is accurate in relation to medicines, taking account of all changes, together with reasons, that occurred during the hospital stay.
The system can be interrogated to produce reports to analyse the information recorded. This system links with the pharmacist intervention system (EPICS) and in the future will be linked with the Trust incident reporting system (DATIX), ensuring an integrated process for the pharmacy team. This greatly improves the safety and quality of medicines used in treating patients. The next stage will be full electronic uptake into primary care systems to give a fully integrated cohesive system for medicines management which ensures accurate communication across the interface.