Costs and quality of medication reconciliation practice in primary care clinics
Medication reconciliation, with the aim to resolve medication discrepancy, is one of the Joint Commission patient safety goals. Medication errors and adverse drug events that could result from medication discrepancy affect a large population. At least 1.5 million adverse drug events and $3.5 billion of financial burden yearly associated with medication errors could be prevented by interventions such as medication reconciliation. This research was conducted to answer the following research questions: (1a) What are the frequency range and type of measures used to report outpatient medication discrepancy? (1b) Which effective and efficient strategies for medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting have been reported? (2) What are the costs associated with medication reconciliation practice in primary care clinics? (3) What is the quality of medication reconciliation practice in primary care clinics? (4) Is medication reconciliation practice in primary care clinics cost-effective from the clinic perspective? Study designs used to answer these questions included a systematic review, cost analysis, quality assessments, and cost-effectiveness analysis. Data sources were published articles in the medical literature and data from a prospective workflow study, which included 150 patients and 1,238 medications. The systematic review confirmed that the prevalence of medication discrepancy was high in ambulatory care and higher in primary care settings. Effective strategies for medication reconciliation included the use of pharmacists, letters, a standardized practice approach, and partnership between providers and patients. Our cost analysis showed that costs associated with medication reconciliation practice were not substantially different between primary care clinics using or not using electronic medical records (EMR) ($0.95 per patient per medication in EMR clinics vs. $0.96 per patient per medication in non-EMR clinics, p=0.78). Even though medication reconciliation was frequently practiced (97-98%), the quality of such practice was poor (0-33% of process completeness measured by concordance of medication numbers and 29-33% of accuracy measured by concordance of medication names) and negatively (though not significantly) associated with medication regimen complexity. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for concordance of medication number per patient per medication and concordance of medication names per patient per medication were both 0.08, favoring EMR. Future studies including potential cost-savings from medication features of the EMR and potential benefits to minimize severity of harm to patients from medication discrepancy are warranted. ^
Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery|Health Sciences, Public Health|Health Sciences, Health Care Management
Grace M Kuo,
"Costs and quality of medication reconciliation practice in primary care clinics"
(January 1, 2011).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).