A complete and accurate medication list is a critical step to ensuring medication safety throughout all phases of care. During a monthly audit, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center pharmacists identified an opportunity for improving medication-entry errors in prior-to-admission medication lists. To address the issue, they designed the Medication Reconciliation Pharmacist Program in February 2015.
The program began with pharmacists performing a complete review of all medications by interviewing patients and families and contacting nursing homes and assisted living facilities as necessary. The pharmacists prevent drug interactions, duplication, and the prescription of non-formulary medications. They target congestive heart failure (CHF)/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) admissions and have the potential to prevent readmissions, facilitate early discharges, and improve patient safety and satisfaction.
The program has resulted in a downward trend of CHF and COPD readmission rates, and the medication error rate has stabilized.