Medication reconciliation by a pharmacy technician in a mental health assessment unit

Kay Brownlie, Carl Schneider, Roger Culliford, Chris Fox, Alexios Boukouvalas, Cathy Willan, Ian D. Maidment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Medication discrepancies are common when patients cross organisational boundaries. However, little is known about the frequency of discrepancies within mental health and the efficacy of interventions to reduce discrepancies. Objective: To evaluate the impact of a pharmacy-led reconciliation service on medication discrepancies on admissions to a secondary care mental health trust. Setting: In-patient mental health services. Methods: Prospective evaluation of pharmacy technician led medication reconciliation for admissions to a UK Mental Health NHS Trust. From March to June 2012 information on any unintentional discrepancies (dose, frequency and name of medication); patient demographics; and type and cause of the discrepancy was collected. The potential for harm was assessed based on two scenarios; the discrepancy was continued into primary care, and the discrepancy was corrected during admission. Logistic regression identified factors associated with discrepancies. Main outcome measure: Mean number of discrepancies per admission corrected by the pharmacy technician. Results Unintentional medication discrepancies occurred in 212 of 377 admissions (56.2 %). Discrepancies involving 569 medicines (mean 1.5 medicines per admission) were corrected. The most common discrepancy was omission (n = 464). Severity was assessed for 114 discrepancies. If the discrepancy was corrected within 16 days the potential harm was minor in 71 (62.3 %) cases and moderate in 43 (37.7 %) cases whereas if the discrepancy was not corrected the potential harm was minor in 27 (23.7 %) cases and moderate in 87 (76.3 %) cases. Discrepancies were associated with both age and number of medications; the stronger association was age. Conclusions: Medication discrepancies are common within mental health services with potentially significant consequences for patients. Trained pharmacy technicians are able to reduce the frequency of discrepancies, improving safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date15 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

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Medication Reconciliation
Mental Health
Health
Mental Health Services
Medicine
Secondary Care
Health care
Names
Logistics
Primary Health Care
Lead
Logistic Models
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Safety
Pharmacy Technicians

Keywords

  • continuity of care
  • medication reconciliation
  • medication safety
  • mental health
  • United Kingdom

Cite this

Brownlie, Kay ; Schneider, Carl ; Culliford, Roger ; Fox, Chris ; Boukouvalas, Alexios ; Willan, Cathy ; Maidment, Ian D. / Medication reconciliation by a pharmacy technician in a mental health assessment unit. In: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy. 2014 ; Vol. 36, No. 2. pp. 303-309.
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Medication reconciliation by a pharmacy technician in a mental health assessment unit. / Brownlie, Kay; Schneider, Carl; Culliford, Roger; Fox, Chris; Boukouvalas, Alexios; Willan, Cathy; Maidment, Ian D.

In: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, Vol. 36, No. 2, 31.12.2014, p. 303-309.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Medication reconciliation by a pharmacy technician in a mental health assessment unit

AU - Brownlie, Kay

AU - Schneider, Carl

AU - Culliford, Roger

AU - Fox, Chris

AU - Boukouvalas, Alexios

AU - Willan, Cathy

AU - Maidment, Ian D.

PY - 2014/12/31

Y1 - 2014/12/31

N2 - Background: Medication discrepancies are common when patients cross organisational boundaries. However, little is known about the frequency of discrepancies within mental health and the efficacy of interventions to reduce discrepancies. Objective: To evaluate the impact of a pharmacy-led reconciliation service on medication discrepancies on admissions to a secondary care mental health trust. Setting: In-patient mental health services. Methods: Prospective evaluation of pharmacy technician led medication reconciliation for admissions to a UK Mental Health NHS Trust. From March to June 2012 information on any unintentional discrepancies (dose, frequency and name of medication); patient demographics; and type and cause of the discrepancy was collected. The potential for harm was assessed based on two scenarios; the discrepancy was continued into primary care, and the discrepancy was corrected during admission. Logistic regression identified factors associated with discrepancies. Main outcome measure: Mean number of discrepancies per admission corrected by the pharmacy technician. Results Unintentional medication discrepancies occurred in 212 of 377 admissions (56.2 %). Discrepancies involving 569 medicines (mean 1.5 medicines per admission) were corrected. The most common discrepancy was omission (n = 464). Severity was assessed for 114 discrepancies. If the discrepancy was corrected within 16 days the potential harm was minor in 71 (62.3 %) cases and moderate in 43 (37.7 %) cases whereas if the discrepancy was not corrected the potential harm was minor in 27 (23.7 %) cases and moderate in 87 (76.3 %) cases. Discrepancies were associated with both age and number of medications; the stronger association was age. Conclusions: Medication discrepancies are common within mental health services with potentially significant consequences for patients. Trained pharmacy technicians are able to reduce the frequency of discrepancies, improving safety.

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KW - medication reconciliation

KW - medication safety

KW - mental health

KW - United Kingdom

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