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Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors, Aspden P, Wolcott J, Bootman JL, Cronenwett LR, eds. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2007.
A major report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on medication errors suggests that, despite all the progress in patient safety since To Err is Human, medication errors remain extremely common, and the health care system can do much more to prevent them. Among the startling statistics from this report: more than 1.5 million Americans are injured every year in American hospitals, and the average hospitalized patient experiences at least one medication error each day. The report emphasizes actions that health care systems, providers, funders, and regulators can take to improve medication safety. These actions include having all US prescriptions written and dispensed electronically by 2010, more widespread use of medication reconciliation, and additional research on drug errors and how to prevent them. Importantly, the report also emphasizes actions that patients can take to prevent medication errors, such as maintaining active medication lists and bringing their medications to appointments. Support for the IOM report came from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Journal Article > Study
Using consumer-based kiosk technology to improve and standardize medication reconciliation in a specialty care setting.
Lesselroth B, Adams S, Felder R, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2009;35:264-271.
This study used an innovative approach to involving patients in safety efforts by using an interactive kiosk paired with the medication list from the electronic health record. When patients presented for a clinic visit, the kiosk presented their presumed medication list along with pill pictures, and patients had to indicate if they were taking the medication. This method successfully identified medication discrepancies and reduced the time spent by staff in reviewing medications. Ensuring medication reconciliation in ambulatory care has been particularly problematic for patients with low health literacy. This novel strategy may represent an effective, patient-centered approach to this problem.