The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently endorsed a white paper that calls for system-wide programs for medication reconciliation — the process of verifying that current patient medications are correct, medically safe, and necessary.
“Making Inpatient Medication Reconciliation Patient Centered, Clinically Relevant and Implementable: A Consensus Statement on Key Principles and Necessary First Steps” appears in October’s Journal of Hospital Medicine. It outlines 10 key areas to progress medication reconciliation, including the following:
- Clearly defined roles of multidisciplinary participants in reconciliation.
- Clinically meaningful reconciliation processes.
- Mechanisms to prospectively and proactively identify patients.
- Integrated personal health records that transfer easily between care sites.
Health care and community-based partnerships.
- Health care payment structures that align with medication safety goals.
“Medication reconciliation prevents health care professionals from inadvertently giving, changing, or omitting medications to patients,” said AACN Clinical Practice Manager Robi Hellman, MSN, RN, CNS. “It also makes sure that medication changes get communicated to all those involved in patient care.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, and The Joint Commission are among the organizations that endorsed the white paper. AACN is an organizational affiliate of ANA.
Susan Trossman is the senior reporter in ANA’s communications department.