A new survey released today reveals that hospitals need true partnerships with their technology providers to successfully close any gaps around driving improved medication reconciliation and patient safety. The survey of hospital CIOs, CMIOs, Directors of Informatics and other hospital administrators, conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Foundation on behalf of DrFirst identifies key medication reconciliation challenges faced by hospitals today.
Medication Reconciliation Challenges for Hospital Executives
The survey results mirrored the macro trend that most hospital executives prioritize comprehensive medication reconciliation programs. However, despite the fact that nearly 83 percent of respondents report that medication reconciliation is a multidisciplinary effort across the organization, key challenges hospital executives are most concerned about are:
1. Incomplete and inaccurate medication data (74.8 percent)
2. Inconsistent practices across departments, disciplines and shifts (59.7 percent).
3. Patients being discharged with an incorrect medication list (47.9 percent)
4. Difficulty importing external medication history, including home medications (46.2 percent)
5. Lengthy patient interviews that required calls to families, pharmacies and providers (42.9 percent)
6. Outdated workflows that drive bad medication reconciliation practices (30.3 percent)
Adverse drug events (ADEs) cost up to $5.6 million each year per hospital, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same agency estimates that anywhere from 28 percent to 95 percent of ADEs can be prevented by reducing medication errors through computerized monitoring systems.
Most Important Aspects Of A Medication Reconciliation Program
With inpatient medication errors costing hospitals $16.4 billion each year, hospital leaders have turned their attention to identifying proven technologies and processes to help reduce the risk of ADEs, including medication reconciliation. When asked about the most important aspects of a medication reconciliation program, the top three answers all centered on technology. More than half of all respondents named each of these components among the top three:
· Technology to enhance drug data stewardship
· Technology for patient engagement and accountability
· Additional data feeds to mitigate medication history gaps
Overwhelmingly, hospitals see a significant role for technology in medication reconciliation efforts. Most hospital leaders surveyed said that their IT teams were highly involved with medication reconciliation efforts, whether strategically with a seat at the leadership table (36.7 percent), or technically as subject matter experts deploying solutions (24.2 percent) or both (28.3 percent).
“Simply put, improving medication reconciliation helps save lives,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst said in a statement. “The CHIME survey results showcase something we’ve learned while working alongside our hospital customers: medication reconciliation efforts are only as good as the data available, the processes in place and the technology to seamlessly connect it all.”