Background and Importance Improvement of patient safety at transition of care points is a key strategic aim of the 3rd WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge.1 Medication reconciliation on admission into hospital increases patient safety by reducing medication errors and adverse events and has been shown to reduce hospital readmissions.2 Collection of an accurate best possible medication history (BPMH) is the first step. This is often resource intensive. Final year pharmacy students are now being assigned to obtain BPMHs, as a cost-effective alternative.
Aim and Objectives The aim of this scoping review was to determine the experiences with a best possible medication history (BPMH) conducted by pharmacy students in the hospital setting.
Material and Methods A scoping review was conducted involving PubMed, PubPharm, LIVIVO and Web of Science (2010-2021) including original studies and systematic reviews and their reference lists. Only papers investigating pharmacy students BPMH compared to other healthcare professionals in hospital practice were included. Two independent reviewers screened titles, abstracts and full text articles and completed data extraction with discrepancies being verified by a third. Data charting was used to identify variables corresponding to the research question. Reporting was completed in accordance with PRISMA-ScR.
Results Out of 235 papers, 18 papers met the inclusion criteria. Australia (n=1); Canada (n=1) and the USA (n=16) included a total of 7293 patients. Pharmacy students use more information resources (77,6%; n=972) compared to pharmacy technicians (58,4%; n=743); identified more prescription/non-prescriptions drugs (n=10,2) compared to nurses (n=6,8) and medics (n=7,1); make fewer mistakes identifying allergies/intolerances (n=6) compared to nurses (n=27) and reduced the 30-day re-admission rate (0,6%).
Conclusion and Relevance Pharmacy students are able to effectively contribute to patient safety by carrying out very detailed best possible medication histories, offering an economical alternative to technicians, nurses, pharmacists and medical healthcare professionals. In addition to the benefits to the healthcare system this offers additional opportunities for education/interdisciplinary training between pharmacy and medical/nursing students.
World Health Organisation. Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030. Towards eliminating avoidable harm in health care. 2021. ISBN 978-92-4-003270-5.
Mekonnen AB, et al. Effectiveness of pharmacist led medication reconciliation programmes on clinical outcomes at hospital transitions. BMJ Open. 2016; 6(2):e010003.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest
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