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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Improving admission medication reconciliation with pharmacists or pharmacy technicians in the emergency department: a randomised controlled trial.

Pevnick JM, Nguyen C, Jackevicius CA, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2018;27:512-520.

Among hospitalized patients, adverse drug events (ADEs) are a common and serious source of patient harm. Medication reconciliation at the time of hospital admission reduces preventable ADEs and is a National Patient Safety Goal. In this three-arm, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial, researchers compared pharmacist or pharmacy technician–performed medication reconciliation before admission orders were placed to usual care among patients with at least 10 medications. Pharmacist and technician reconciliation led to similarly large decreases in minor and life-threatening medication order errors. Although pharmacist-led reconciliation reduces in-hospital ADEs in research settings, real-world implementation has been more challenging. Previous WebM&M commentaries highlight the dangers of inadequate medication reconciliation in inpatient and outpatient settings.