Quality in Primary Care Open Access

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Improving the accuracy of medication and allergy records between a primary care clinic and pharmacy

Tracey L Mersfelder

Background: Much attention has recently focused on medication errors associated with inaccurate medication histories and reconciliations. This includes a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal, which encouraged a search for better methods of medication reconciliation.

Objectives: To examine the effect on the accuracy of patients' documented medication history and allergy lists with the introduction of formal collaboration between their primarycare provider's office and their local pharmacy.

Methods: The names of patients who frequented both the designated pharmacy and the resident-based clinic were collected. Their medication lists and allergy records from both locations were compared. A letter was sent to the clinic physician with the patient's pharmacy medication fill history and allergy list for reconciliation. The lists were later collected again for a post-intervention comparison.

Results: The rate of disagreement between the documented medication history at baseline was 1.18 (CI 1.06 - 1.31; p = 0.0018) times higher than the rate seen at the three month follow-up. The rate of allergy recorded errors decreased by 1.17 (CI, 1.05 - 1.31; p=0.0063) times at follow-up. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that a collaborative relationship between the patients' pharmacy and primary care clinic improved the accuracy of patient medication and allergy records. This relationship will aid providers in identifying medication inconsistencies and improving patient safety.