Anyone receiving medical care in Pennsylvania has a right to expect medications to be prescribed based on accurate, up-to-date information. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. Due to the potential for prescription oversights, a group of physician assistant student researchers recommends that a standardized medication reconciliation training regimen they developed be implemented.
The researchers conducted a pre-implementation review before testing their medication reconciliation training method. Researchers discovered that some medical record technicians either did not receive sufficient reconciliation training or may not have been familiar with a patient’s electronic medical record. They also found that some patients might be unable to recall what medications they are taking or don’t bring an updated list of what they’re taking for the technician to review.
Researchers also looked at how well technicians interviewed patients. Half of the technicians were thorough, meaning they sufficiently questioned patients about their medication use. But 35% of the technicians only did partial interviews with patients, and nearly 15% failed to bring up medication use at all. However, when the training regimen was implemented, which includes a script and a list of common medicinal drugs, instances of thorough medication reconciliation increased to 100%. Additionally, there were no instances of partial patient questioning or forgetting to question patients. Researchers hope their results will serve as the basis for future studies involving the accuracy of medication lists and the use of other patient data collection methods.
If some type of medical oversight worsens a patient’s condition or results in new health-related problems, a medical malpractice lawyer may take steps to ID possible responsible parties. While a physician is frequently one of the parties involved, a medical record technician may be held responsible as well if they failed to confirm what medications a patient was taking and ask other relevant questions.