Medication History

Published: 14 January 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/8g68gfvfjy.1
Contributor:
Wesley Arrison

Description

Background: An accurate medication history is crucial for maintaining continuity of care. There are numerous opportunities for discrepancies to occur, such as medication omissions, commissions, incorrect dosing, incorrect frequencies, or incorrect formulations. Medication discrepancies may prolong hospital length of stay, increase the number of future emergency department (ED) visits, and increase hospital readmissions. Numerous studies have established the advantages of utilizing pharmacy technicians to complete medication histories. This study aimed to compare the accuracy of obtaining medication histories through pharmacy technicians compared to nursing staff. Objective: To compare the accuracy of obtaining medication histories through pharmacy technicians compared to nursing staff in the emergency department. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective, observational analysis of patients presenting to the ED between December 2018 through January 2019. A pharmacy technician received on-site training on how to properly obtain a medication history and performed medication histories on the days the pharmacy resident was present between 10:00 and 18:00. Medication histories were obtained by nurses on the days the pharmacy technician was not present. All study medication histories were reviewed for discrepancies by the pharmacy resident. Results: Medication histories conducted by a pharmacy technician (n=102) resulted in a greater number of accurate medication histories [96 (94.1%) versus 59 (57.8%); p < 0.01] when compared to those conducted by nurses (n=102). A total of seven discrepancies were found in the pharmacy technician group compared to 131 in the nursing group (p < 0.01). There was also a statistically significant lower amount of high impact discrepancies in the pharmacy technician group compared to nursing (1 versus 15; p < 0.01). Conclusions: Pharmacy technicians in the ED provided more accurate medication histories when compared to nursing staff, thereby reducing potential medication errors.

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Pharmacy Technician, Emergency Department

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