During times of transition, the pharmaceutical care patients receive is often suboptimal and wrought with danger. Home healthcare nurses play a pivotal and important role in providing transitional care to patients by identifying and resolving medication discrepancies. Nurses must partner with pharmacists, physicians, and others involved with care transitions to decrease the likelihood of patients experiencing untoward health consequences associated with medications.
This team used information technology to help home care nurses more efficiently and effectively identify and resolve medication discrepancies as patients transitioned from the hospital to home. These discrepancies occur when a patient's discharge instructions regarding their medication differ from the medications the patient actually took once arriving home. Researchers evaluated whether the intervention had an impact on patients' emergency department visits during the first 30 days after hospital discharge.
Medication discrepancy is a concept often used in discussions about medication safety but has neither been fully explained nor clearly defined in the literature. This article explores medication discrepancy as it relates to patient safety and population health in the management of medications. Literature review reveals 2 main aspects of discrepancies in medication management; prescribing issues and patient adherence to regimens. Further development of the concept of medication discrepancy can be beneficial to the theorist, researcher, or clinician.
For older adults with multiple health problems, making the transition from hospital to home is a risky time for medication discrepancies to occur. Medication discrepancies are defined as any difference between the discharge medication list and the medications a patient actually takes once at home.