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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Incidence of clinically relevant medication errors in the era of electronically prepopulated medication reconciliation forms: a retrospective chart review.

Stockton KR, Wickham ME, Lai S, et al. CMAJ Open. 2017;5.

An accurate list of patient medications is a necessary precursor for safe medication use. One strategy to improve medication reconciliation is to provide a list of dispensed outpatient medications to inpatient clinicians upon hospital admission via an electronic medication reconciliation process. This retrospective chart review study compared a research pharmacist–generated gold standard medication list to the actual medications ordered during an admission after such a process was implemented. The study team identified medication discrepancies between the pharmacist-generated and admission-ordered medication lists and noted any inappropriately prescribed or continued medications. Medication errors were present in nearly half of the patient records; about 9% of errors were clinically important. The authors raise concerns that electronically prepopulated medication reconciliation forms may actually adversely impact medication safety. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed how to enhance accuracy of medication reconciliation.