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Omitted and unjustified medications in the discharge summary


Perren, A; Previsdomini, M; Cerutti, B; Soldini, D; Donghi, D; Marone, C (2009). Omitted and unjustified medications in the discharge summary. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 18(3):205-208.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Limited information exists in regard to drug omissions and unjustified medications in the hospital discharge summary (DS). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence and types of drug omissions and unjustified medications in the DS, and to assess their potential impact on patient health. METHODS: A prospective observational review of the DSs of all patients discharged from our Internal Medicine Department over a 3-month period. Data assessment was made by internists using a structured form. RESULTS: Of the 577 evaluated DSs, 66% contained at least one inconsistency accounting for a total of 1012 irregularities. There were 393 drug omissions affecting 251 patients, 32% of which were potentially harmful. Seventeen per cent of all medications (619/3691) were unjustified, affecting 318 patients. The unjustified medication was potentially harmful in 16% of cases, occurred significantly more frequent in women than in men (61% vs 50%; p = 0.008) and increased linearly with the number of drugs prescribed (p<0.001). Drug omission had a twofold higher potential to cause harm than unjustified medication. CONCLUSIONS: Drug omissions and unjustified medications are frequent, and systemic changes are required to substantially reduce these inconsistencies.

BACKGROUND: Limited information exists in regard to drug omissions and unjustified medications in the hospital discharge summary (DS). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence and types of drug omissions and unjustified medications in the DS, and to assess their potential impact on patient health. METHODS: A prospective observational review of the DSs of all patients discharged from our Internal Medicine Department over a 3-month period. Data assessment was made by internists using a structured form. RESULTS: Of the 577 evaluated DSs, 66% contained at least one inconsistency accounting for a total of 1012 irregularities. There were 393 drug omissions affecting 251 patients, 32% of which were potentially harmful. Seventeen per cent of all medications (619/3691) were unjustified, affecting 318 patients. The unjustified medication was potentially harmful in 16% of cases, occurred significantly more frequent in women than in men (61% vs 50%; p = 0.008) and increased linearly with the number of drugs prescribed (p<0.001). Drug omission had a twofold higher potential to cause harm than unjustified medication. CONCLUSIONS: Drug omissions and unjustified medications are frequent, and systemic changes are required to substantially reduce these inconsistencies.

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13 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:09 Feb 2010 07:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:52
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:1475-3898
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/qshc.2007.024588
PubMed ID:19468003
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-29806

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