Improving patient safety by obtaining accurate medication lists for high risk patients

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Adverse drug events (ADE) are widespread and negatively impact patients and healthcare costs. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can reduce risk of ADE by ensuring accurate medication lists upon admission and discharge. Senate Bill 1254 aims to require hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to obtain medication lists for high risk patients. Show support for this initiative by signing the petition.

Link to SB1254:

Errors & Adverse Drug Events:
• High risk patients have about 8 errors on their medication lists upon admission (1)
• 1/3 of errors originate from the medication list and up to 59% can cause harm (2)
• 30% of Medicare inpatients experienced an ADE in 2011 (3)
• ADE increase hospitalization by approximately 3 days (4)

Cost of Harm:
• The cost of harm due to medication-related readmissions is at least 9 billion/year for high risk patients in California (5)
• 20% of readmissions are medication-related (multiple sources)
• Hospitalization in California is about 5 days at a cost of $17000

Pharmacy Impact:
• Pharmacist-conducted medication reconciliations resulted in 16% reduction in all visits to the hospital and a 47% reduction in visits to the emergency department (6)
• Clinical pharmacy services reduced errors by 40% compared to usual care (7)
• Pharmacy technicians created an accurate medication list 94% of the time compared to 14% by usual care (8)
• Discharge medication lists prepared by pharmacists reduced risk of error by about 50% compared to usual care (9)

1. Pevnick, JM, et al. J of Patient-Centered Res Rev, 2015.
2. Gleason, KM, et al. J Gen Intern Med, 2010.
4. AHRQ Patient Safety Network, 2012.
6. Gillespie U, et al. Arch Intern Med, 2009.
7. Byrne SM, et al. IntJ ClinPharm, 2017.
8. Markovic, M, et al. PT, 2017.
9. Tong, EY, et al. The Med Journal of Australia, 2017.

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