Computerized Medication Reconciliation, comment


I agree with the post in that hospitals would benefit from computerized medication reconciliation forms. At the facility I work, the med rec forms are constantly lost or that handwriting is illegible or the doctor did not fill out the form correctly. If the form was online, I believe, there would be less room for error. Also I agree that it would be easier to review the form on a different floor if a patient was transferred if it was online. It is very hard to keep track of paperwork when a patient is transferred. With each patient that I receive from the PACU or ICU, I spend probably 15 minutes trying to retrieve the paperwork I need from the patient’s chart. I have previously worked at a hospital where the med rec form was online and the only time it was printed was when a MD wrote transfer orders then it was added to the chart and the MD had to check boxes to continue or discontinue a med. After the MD filled out the form it was faxed to pharmacy and then everything went back to being online. The nurses never had to bother with med rec paperwork. I definitely had less phone calls from the pharmacy with questions regarding the med rec form!

Original Post:
May 26, 2009
Title: Computerized Medication Reconciliation
I have recently seen a need for medication reconciliation to be computerized. In my current hospital, the patient’s meds are documented individually on paper at each floor they are admitted to. Problems arise in this system when papers get lost, each floor uses different charting, nurses do not complete the form, etc. In short, the patient ends up either answering the same question regarding their home meds repeatedly, the nurse at each floor must searches for the med list or the family must bring in the home med list more than once to appease the admission paperwork required of each floor and nurse. I see a much easier answer to be to computerize the medication reconciliation forms. The computerized form could then be checked at each floor if needed for completion. We could also solve the problem of incomplete forms through this means. The program could be designed to ensure that the form must be complete, for example, using a symbol such as a red exclamation mark to notify the nurse at each shift if it is not completed. I see this as using informatics to eliminate problems and ensure patient safety in home medication reconciliation.

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