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Medicine list would reduce errors, says NPC

A minimum dataset of information on patients’ medicines should be available when care is transferred to ensure effective medicines reconciliation, the National Prescribing Centre has said in guidance published 8 December 2008 — “Medicines reconciliation: a guide to implementation”.

It recommends that new information about patients’ medicines is updated each time an intervention is made or when a patient’s care is handed over to a different health sector.

Currently, records about patients’ medicines are kept in a variety of formats in different places, and these cannot easily be shared, the NPC points out.

Recently reconciled medicines lists would benefit independent pharmacist prescribers looking after care home patients who suffer from a range of acute problems, the NPC suggests, and community pharmacists who offer medicines use reviews would benefit from having accurately reconciled medication lists to enable them to update their own patient medication records, it adds.

The NPC foresees a three-stage process for medicines reconciliation: collecting patient medication history and other relevant information; checking that medicines and doses that are prescribed are correct; and dating and documenting any changes that have been made to the patient’s prescription so that it is ready to be transferred to the next person responsible for that person’s care.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10043863

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