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Health-care practitioners must cooperate to reduce medication mismanagement, MU expert says
Date:12/10/2012

int and overlapping responsibilities require that the health care practitioners collaborate to ensure patient safety, Vogelsmeier said.

"Medication reconciliation doesn't fall to one discipline; it's a joint effort," she said. "Physicians are ultimately accountable for assuring patients' medication therapy is appropriate, but pharmacists play critical roles because of their in-depth knowledge of medication management and their focus on medication safety. Nurses are the ones who identify and communicate what patients are really taking at home because of their proximity to patients and their families when they transition to health care settings."

As the practitioners encounter patients, they have opportunities to provide input about the patients' medication histories, medication plans and their responses to therapies, Vogelsmeier said.

"But the process starts with knowing what medications patients are really taking, and this is particularly challenging with medication reconciliation," Vogelsmeier said. "Often, patients have multiple medication bottles at home and do not know what they are supposed to be taking. In addition, they may see multiple providers who prescribe different medications, and they may go to various hospitals or providers for care."

Vogelsmeier says maintaining accurate and reliable medication lists is difficult, and current computerized systems found in many hospitals, nursing homes and physician clinics do not support the maintenance of accurate medication profiles. She suggests that computerized information systems be designed to integrate input from each health practitioner role into the medication reconciliation process so that practitioners can provide up-to-date information to ensure accuracy of records. Other issues that emerged in the focus groups included non-adherence to medication regimens and low health literacy.

The study, "Medication reconciliation: A qualitative analysis of clinicians' pe
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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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