Engaging hospital patients in the medication reconciliation process using tablet computers.
Medication errors at hospital admission and discharge are a common cause of preventable harm, but robust medication reconciliation reduces such risks. Although medication reconciliation always involves the patient to some extent, it creates an opportunity to use health information technology (IT) to engage patients more meaningfully. Researchers piloted a tablet-based home medication review tool provided to patients at hospital admission. Patients found the tool easy to use and each identified 2.6 medication discrepancies on average. Most discrepancies were of significant severity and were not detected by clinicians during their medication reconciliation. However, the tool was not integrated into the electronic medical record, so clinicians had no streamlined way to incorporate patients' suggested medication changes. An Annual Perspective explored how health IT can be leveraged to enhance patient engagement in safety.