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Strategies to Prevent Medication Discrepancies

In care communities, there are often errors made when it comes to medication. Several doctors often see residents in these communities to address all their medical needs. With this, there is a common occurrence of medication discrepancies. This may be cases of misreading documentation or miscommunication when transferring patient care. Although it is unfortunate that these mistakes occur, there are several strategies to lessen the volume of mistakes happening. 

A study in the United States found that 40% of medication discrepancies occurred during patient transfer of care. 

Strategies to prevent medication discrepancies:

  • Documentation: Keeping thorough documentation of residents’ medication can assist with reducing medication discrepancies. It is important to update the documents often to ensure nothing is missed. 
  • Following protocol: The first step in following protocol is having a protocol. By giving care teams set directions, everyone has the same expectations regarding residents. There is little room for error when all members are educated on protocol. Further, it is easier to track errors if an expectation is unmet. 
  • Education: Care team members should always be learning. In turn, they should be given the opportunity to grow in their care. Education on medication discrepancies can show common errors and how to avoid these mistakes.
  • Involve the patient: Patients should be aware of the medication they are taking. Educating residents of care communities about their medication can give them a sense of ownership over their care and they may be able to catch medication discrepancies that may have been missed. 
  • Keeping updated data: With each transfer of care, there is a more significant chance of medication discrepancies occurring. With several doctors treating patients, there may be several medications prescribed to them. It is important to update and document every change in a patient’s medical history.  
  • Being diligent: It is a necessity to be diligent when it comes to medication and residents. It may feel like overdoing it, but triple-checking medication and documentation ensures mistakes are caught before there are detrimental results. 

Patient care should always be at the forefront of all care communities. One of the most significant impacts on residents is medication administration. Care team members can grow in their care and ensure residents are receiving the correct medication and the correct dosage. ETE offers training to support care teams with patient care and medication. With sessions on medication delegation, leadership, and resident care, any team can rise to the occasion and become the best for their residents. 

Equipping your care team with the knowledge and skills is the cornerstone of safer care. Our free monthly training session, held on the first Tuesday of every month, provides your team with the tools and confidence to help optimize resident well-being within your community. Each session covers critical topics like medication, compliance, safety, and best practices—while empowering your team to ask questions and solve problems. Don’t miss this opportunity to help support your residents’ safety and equip your care team with the knowledge and confidence to provide exceptional care. Sign up for our next training or call (512) 923-1045 to learn about our medication management program today! 

Reference

  1. Neumiller JJ, Setter SM, White AM, et al. Medication Discrepancies and Potential Adverse Drug Events During Transfer of Care from Hospital to Home. In: Battles J, Azam I, Reback K, et al., editors. Advances in Patient Safety and Medical Liability [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2017 Aug. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK508082/

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