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A toolkit for medicines reconciliation, released today, is the latest resource produced by FIP to support pharmacists in improving patient safety and contribute to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) third Global Patient Safety Challenge — “Medication without harm”. Under this programme of change, the WHO lists care transitions as one of three priority areas that need effective action in order to protect patients.
Transitions of care can potentially lead to patient harm due to unintentional changes in medication or poor communication. A recent Cochrane review, for example, found that 55.9% of patients are at risk of having one or more medication discrepancies at transitions of care.1 Such medication discrepancies can lead to secondary illnesses, hospital admissions and even deaths.
“Medicines reconciliation represents a key service across all transitions of care and, when led by pharmacists, is effective in reducing medication-related harm to patients. With this service, pharmacists can apply their medicines expertise to minimise errors and optimise medicines use, resulting in positive impacts on patient, clinical and economic outcomes. Medicines reconciliation should be practised in every healthcare setting,” said FIP CEO Catherine Duggan.
FIP’s toolkit on medicines reconciliation outlines the principles and important processes that pharmacists should follow when providing this professional service. It summarises the definitions, impact and procedures for the implementation of pharmacist-led medicines reconciliation in both community and hospital healthcare settings, and offers a set of tools to support practice. FIP will be hosting a free webinar on medicines reconciliation, based on the toolkit, next month.