PloS one 2018 01 1213(1) e0191028 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0191028
Medication discrepancies are defined as unexplained differences among regimens across different sites of care. The problem of medication discrepancies that occur during the entire care pathway from hospital admission to a local care setting discharge (namely all types of settings dedicated to formal care other than hospitals) has received little attention in the medical literature. The present study aims to (1) determine the prevalence of medication discrepancies that occur during the entire care pathway from hospital admission to local care setting discharge, (2) describe the discrepancy and medication type, and (3) identify potential risk factors for experiencing medication discrepancies in patient care transitions. Evidence from an integrated health care system, such as the Italian one, may explain results from other studies in different healthcare systems.
A retrospective longitudinal cohort study of patients admitted from July 2015 to July 2016 to the Giovanni Bosco Hospital serving Turin, Italy and its surrounding territory was performed. Discrepancies were recorded at the following four care transitions: T1: Hospital admission; T2: Hospital discharge; T3: Admission into local care settings; T4: Discharge from local care settings. All evaluations were based on documented regimens and were performed by a team (doctor, nurse and pharmacists).
Of 366 included patients, 25.68% had at least one discrepancy. The most frequent type of discrepancy was from medication omission (N = 74; 71.15%). Only discharge from a long-stay care setting (T4) was significantly associated with the onset of discrepancies (p = 0.045). When considering a lack of adequate documentation, not as missing data but as a discrepancy, 43.72% of patients had at least one discrepancy.
This study suggests that an integrated health care system, such as Italian system, may influence the prevalence of discrepancies, thus highlighting the need for structured multidisciplinary and, if possible, computerized medication reconciliation to prevent medication discrepancies and improve the quality of medical documentation.