In recognition of Healthcare Risk Management Week, ECRI Institute has provided temporary free access to its guidance article on medication reconciliation. Typically, the publication is only available to ECRI’s Healthcare Risk Control members. The publication is available for download through June 19 on the ECRI website.

According to ECRI, Medical Reconciliation outlines how medication accuracy is often most vulnerable during care transitions. Processes such as patient admission, discharge, and transfers between care units or settings can lead to medication errors that endanger patients. Among the most common problems are dosing errors, omitting drugs from admission orders, administering duplicate therapies, and failing to capture medication changes that have occurred during a hospital stay at discharge.

“Medication reconciliation is intended to prevent errors by checking a patient’s medications for additions and changes. The process should be undertaken with every change in a patient’s level of care along the continuum of care. Yet, it continues to be a particularly challenging goal for healthcare organizations to achieve,” said Paul Anderson, director of risk management publications for ECRI. “This resource provides specific steps that can help risk managers and their colleagues in patient safety and quality improvement achieve success with their medication reconciliation processes.”

In the fall, ECRI will also publish a Deep Dive on Care Coordination, an analysis of care coordination events taking place during or shortly after discharge from the hospital. According to ECRI, the majority of incidents represented in the report involve medication, of which about three quarters were due to medication reconciliation failures.

For more information, visit the ECRI website.