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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Discontinuity of chronic medications in patients discharged from the intensive care unit.

Bell CM, Rahimi-Darabad P, Orner AI. Journal of general internal medicine. 2006;21:937-41.

Medication errors due to discontinuity of medications has been documented as a problem during both admission to the hospital and after discharge, but little evidence exists regarding inpatient factors that may result in these errors. In this study, researchers reviewed charts of patients discharged from intensive care units of three hospitals (one academic and two community hospitals) to determine how frequently preadmission medications were inadvertently discontinued at hospital discharge. One-third of patients had at least one important outpatient medication discontinued without a clear indication. Medication reconciliation has been advocated as a means of avoiding such errors.