DrFirst Healthcare Technology Blog

5 Signs Your Hospital is Ready for Electronic Medication Reconciliation

electronic medication reconciliation

Increase the accuracy of patient medication history and streamline your medication reconciliation process

August 5, 2015

The Joint Commission requires hospitals to conduct medication reconciliation for each patient at the time of admission into a facility, at each transition of care, and at discharge, in order to accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care.

Medication reconciliation contains multiple processes that reduce medication errors, support safe medication management and promote overall patient care. However, manual medication reconciliation can be expensive, inefficient and inaccurate, most often because the patient’s outpatient medications are not in the hospital system. Electronic patient medication history feeds can help streamline the medication reconciliation process, but they are not all created equal.

Assess the state of your hospital’s medication reconciliation process with these five reasons your hospital is ready to graduate to data-driven medication reconciliation:

  1. Your staff members lack confidence in your patient’s verbal medication list or your current medication history feed
    Be confident that you are obtaining the best-available clinical view of the patient. Leveraging an electronic medication history feed can help supplement your patient’s bag of pill bottles or faulty memory and provide critical information when patients arrive unconscious or unable to communicate. Make sure to select a medication history vendor that delivers the most comprehensive feed available.
  2. You want to lower your readmissions rate
    Approximately 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within one month of discharge*. Hospitals that exceed the average nationwide readmission rate could receive a penalty of up to 3% of their Medicare payments. Obtaining accurate and complete patient medication history within a few seconds through an easy-to-use interface can help speed diagnosis to shorten stay and lower readmission rates.
  3. You want to verify patient medication history in 10 minutes or less
    Gathering and verifying patient medication history is one of the most important components of the medication reconciliation process. However, obtaining patient drug information can be time-consuming for staff, and waiting on callbacks can extend the time it takes to complete medication reconciliation at admission. To simplify and shorten the process, provide your team with a comprehensive electronic medication history feed. Armed with robust patient medication history, your staff can spend their valuable time helping patients, instead of calling pharmacies, providers or family members to track down drug information.
  4. You want better visibility into patient compliance
    It is not always possible to determine patient medication compliance. An electronic medication history feed can help guide discussion around compliance and uncover the true cause of a patient’s symptoms.
  5. You want a better way to combat doctor shopping
    It can be difficult to determine whether a patient truly needs narcotic painkillers or is actually “doctor shopping.” With the right electronic medication history solution, staff can quickly check the frequency and dose of specific medications, making it easy to uncover and prevent potential substance abuse.

Medication reconciliation is not only a mandate, it is critical to quality patient care. Implementing the most comprehensive electronic medication history solution available will dramatically improve your medication reconciliation process, save your hospital time and money, and enable staff to devote more time to patient care.

Click here to learn about electronic patient medication history feeds that can streamline the medication reconciliation process.

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About the Author

Brad Block General Manager, Hospital Markets

As the general manager of the Hospital Business Unit within DrFirst, Mr. Block oversees a wide spectrum of products and services that serve the hospital space. Mr. Block joined DrFirst in early 2013 with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare sector. His diverse background includes playing key roles in the provider setting as CIO, practice leader, and sales executive, and in the vendor setting as a vice president. As an active participant in the healthcare technology realm, serving on advisory boards and as faculty in healthcare related conferences across the nation, Mr. Block has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Prior to joining DrFirst, he served as the VP of consulting services at NextGen Healthcare Information Systems for close to 3 years, and was also the chief information officer for Doylestown Hospital for 11 years.

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