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Development and multi-centre evaluation of a method for assessing the severity of potential harm of medication reconciliation errors at hospital admission in elderly

      Highlights

      • Medication reconciliation is a powerful process to correct medication errors (ME).
      • The potential clinical impact of these intercepted ME has to be assessed.
      • The multi-centre study has validated a method to score the potential severity of ME.
      • A database of ME of serious potential clinical significance will be constituted.

      Abstract

      Background

      Medication reconciliation is a powerful process to correct medication errors (ME) resulting from miscommunicated information at transitions of care. This study aims to develop and evaluate a scoring method for assessing the severity of potential harm of ME intercepted by medication reconciliation at hospital admission in elderly.

      Methods

      The development of the scoring method was based on a literature search and the creation of a list of high-risk drugs used in outpatient care. The evaluation of the method was carried out in 7 French hospitals and was based on two criteria: the inter-rater reliability and acceptability. The assessment of the inter-rater reliability was based on intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) calculations. Each hospital prospectively enrolled the 10 first patients aged 65 or older presenting with at least one ME. Seven blocks of 10 patients were formed. After randomization, each block was rated by practitioners from 3 hospitals. The assessment of the acceptability was based on a satisfaction questionnaire.

      Results

      A clinical algorithm was developed. The inter-rater reliability of the method was validated by the overall agreement of the 7 hospitals ratings. The agreement was at least substantial (ICC > 0.60) and in most of cases almost perfect (ICC > 0.80). The acceptability of the method was judged as satisfactory.

      Conclusion

      This multi-centre project has validated an instrument for assessing the severity of potential harm of ME intercepted by medication reconciliation. This will allow studies to be conducted with large cohorts of patients in order to develop epidemiological databases of ME of potential clinical significance.

      Keywords

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