A previous study conducted at Northwestern Memorial found that while CPOE systems reduce medication errors, they may have limited impact on actual patient harm. The study concluded that the involvement of physicians and pharmacists is critical to safe care.
Healthcare professionals should educate patients on the importance of maintaining an updated medication list, keeping it on a card that they carry all the time, and reconciling this information during every healthcare encounter, the latest study recommended.
"We always have to engage the patients in this conversation and get them involved," Gleason says. "This has to be a collaborative effort."
The Northwestern Memorial study found that medication reconciliation not only increased patient safety but was also cost-effective. The time, and therefore cost, required to perform reconciliation was more than offset by the savings from fewer possible patient injuries.