Objectives The pharmacy department at St Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight, UK, introduced a service whereby pharmacists took on the role of transcribing drug histories to drug charts as a method to attempt to reduce the number of discrepancies between the drug history and drug chart occurring on admission to hospital.
Method Between February and March 2014, 52 drug histories transcribed by pharmacists and 52 transcribed by doctors were validated to identify any discrepancies. These discrepancies were then reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel to determine the potential consequence.
Results Doctors were found to be 54 times more likely to make an unintentional discrepancy than pharmacists (χ2=185.5, p<0.001). The absolute risk reduction when a pharmacist transcribed the medicines was 36%; the number needed to treat was 2.8 (CI 95% 2.43 to 3.21).
Conclusion The pharmacist transcribing service has been shown to significantly reduce the number of discrepancies.
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