Pharmacist intervention does not prevent medication errors

July 3, 2012
Pharmacist intervention does not prevent medication errors
A pharmacist-delivered intervention does not significantly improve the rate of clinically important medication errors following discharge among hospitalized heart patients, according to a study published in the July 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay) -- A pharmacist-delivered intervention does not significantly improve the rate of clinically important medication errors following discharge among hospitalized heart patients, according to a study published in the July 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Sunil Kripalani, M.D., from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues assessed the effect of a tailored pharmacist-delivered intervention on the occurrence of clinically important medication errors for 851 patients discharged following hospitalization with or acute decompensated . Participants were randomly allocated to either usual care or an intervention of pharmacist-assisted medication reconciliation, inpatient pharmacist counseling, low-literacy adherence aids, and individualized telephone follow-up after discharge.

The researchers found that 50.8 percent of patients had one or more clinically important medication errors, of which 22.9 percent were serious and 1.8 percent were life-threatening. Overall, 30.3 percent of patients had adverse drug events (ADEs), and potential ADEs occurred in 29.7 percent. There was no significant change in the number of clinically important or ADEs per-patient for those in the intervention group (unadjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.92 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 0.77 to 1.10] and 1.09 [95 percent CI, 0.86 to 1.39], respectively). There tended to be fewer potential ADEs in those receiving the intervention (unadjusted IRR, 0.80; CI, 0.61 to 1.04).

"A health-literacy-sensitive pharmacist intervention that included post-discharge telephone follow-up did not improve overall," the authors write. "Reducing ADEs and potential ADEs in the post-discharge period is becoming more critical as hospitals have increasing financial penalties tied to rehospitalization rates."

Explore further: In-house pharmacists can help GPs reduce prescribing errors by up to 50 percent

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs

June 22, 2011

Thousands of patients in Scotland who are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events (ADEs) were prescribed high-risk medications by their GPs which could potentially cause them harm, according to research published in ...

Recommended for you

Researchers identify drug that alleviates opioid withdrawal

January 30, 2017

Opioid use and abuse is a significant social, health and economic issue in Canada. Researchers at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) and Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) have discovered that ...

Detecting counterfeit medicines

January 27, 2017

Bernard Naughton and Dr David Brindley from Oxford University's Saïd Business School and Medical Sciences Division discuss the problems of identifying fake, substandard and expired medicines.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.