In this news clip from Radio New Zealand, Karen Brown explores the introduction of electronic medicine reconciliation at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.
Medicine reconciliation is the process hospital staff use to check what medicines a patient is taking when they first arrive at hospital. There are often changes to a patient's medicine when their care is handed over to other health professionals, such as during admission to, transfer or discharge from hospital. Some of these medicine changes are unintentional due to poor information and some are intentional but not clearly documented. Both types of change can result in medication errors and/or patient harm.
Medicine reconciliation is done so that staff don't give the wrong medicine or dose, or a new medicine which could adversely interact with their current medication.
The Health Quality & Safety Commission has been supporting district health boards to implement medicine reconciliation as part of its Medication Safety Programme.