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Quality of medication related information in discharge letters: A prospective cohort study

Published:October 04, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2017.09.015
      Transitions from one care setting to another is a well known risk factor for medication errors [
      • Tam V.C.
      • Knowles S.R.
      • Cornish P.L.
      • et al.
      Frequency, type and clinical importance of medication history errors at admission to hospital: a systematic review.
      ]. Inaccurate or delayed information transfer between settings could lead to serious harm to patients. Coleman et al. reported more readmissions in patients with incomplete medication lists versus patients with an accurate and complete list (14.3% versus 6.1%) [
      • Coleman E.A.
      • Smith J.D.
      • Raha D.
      • et al.
      Posthospital medication discrepancies: prevalence and contributing factors.
      ]. In order to improve the transfer of medication related information, a guideline was drafted by the Dutch healthcare inspectorate, similar to guidelines that have been published internationally [
      • Ministry of Health and the Health Care Inspectorate
      Policy document: transfer of information on medication in the continuum of care [in Dutch].
      ,
      • Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council
      Guiding principles to achieve continuity in medication management.
      ,
      ]. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adherence to the guideline for medication related information in discharge letters. Secondary outcomes were determinants associated with completeness of discharge letters and timeliness of sending discharge letters to primary care.
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