Medication Reconciliation: Why It’s So Important
According to the Institute of Medicine’s Preventing Medication Errors report, more than 40 percent of medication errors in the United States are believed to result from inadequate reconciliation in handoffs during admission, transfer and discharge of patients from care settings.
And many of these errors would be averted if medication reconciliation processes were in place, like they are at RVNA.
Medication reconciliation refers to the process of comparing a patient’s medication orders to all of the medications that the patient has been taking. This is done to avoid medication errors such as omissions, duplications, dosing errors, or drug interactions. It should be done at every transition of care in which new medications are ordered or existing orders are re-written, including changes in setting, service, practitioner or level of care.
Medication reconciliation has been recognized as a National Patient Safety priority by the Joint Commission for over a decade.
“Medication reconciliation is an important part of every relationship we have,” explains RVNA Director of Clinical Operations, Chris Ziegler, BSN, CRRN, MPH. “Having a proven process is necessary to ensure a patient’s health and is critical in preventing re-hospitalizations and medication errors. In addition to reconciliation, RVNA nurses often help with preparing medications for patients to ensure the medication plan is being followed consistently and correctly, so the medicines can do their job.”