A recent study in the March 2017 edition of the Journal of Patient Safety (http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=01209203-900000000-99520) highlights the extent to which avoidable medication errors impact early readmissions.
In this study, the authors evaluated a random sample of 534 potentially avoidable 30-day readmissions from 10,275 consecutive discharges. They found that 70 (13.1%) of readmission were partially or predominantly due to adverse drug events (ADEs) and of these they rated 58 (82.9%) as serious ADEs. Strikingly, 65 (92.9%) of the ADEs were confirmed to be preventable. The preventable ADEs were classified as inappropriate prescribing (34 cases, 48.6%), misprescribing (19 cases, 27.1%), underprescribing (8 cases, 11.4%), and overprescribing (7 cases, 10.0%). The majority of preventable ADEs, however (36 cases, 51.4%) resulted from suboptimal patient monitoring and education
This study highlights the potential for medication reconciliation and medication therapy management at the point of discharge. Transitions focused medication management programs are the perfect starting point for pharmacists looking to provide demonstrable clinical value.
As always I am happy to discuss any of these thoughts in greater detail. Feel free to reach out by phone or e-mail.
James Notaro, RPh, PhD