Aim Patients are more likely to experience a ‘medicines-related safety incident’ when medicines reconciliation happens more than 24 hours after admission to an acute setting,1 according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The study aimed to assess the impact on medicine reconciliations following the introduction of a dedicated Paediatric Medicines Management Pharmacy Technician to the paediatric wards at a District General Hospital (DGH).
Methods Data has been routinely collected by the pharmacy department over of a number of years showing the time of medicines reconciliations compared with the time of hospital admission. This data shows the number of medicine reconciliations that were completed within 24 hours of hospital admission and the number that were not completed within 24 hours. The data is routinely collected on the Thursday of the first full week of every month. All patients that were admitted to the paediatric wards were included in this data. The service is only funded Monday to Friday through the Child Health Department of the DGH. This data excludes neonates admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Data was collected from 83 paediatric patients in March/April/May 2017 and 78 paediatric patients in March/April/May 2019.
Results Data collected for the paediatric patients over March/April/May 2017 showed that around 21.7% of all paediatric patients admitted to the wards had a completed medicines reconciliation within 24 hours. The data collected over the same period in 2019 showed that 85% paediatric patients admitted to the wards had a completed medicines reconciliation within 24 hours.
Conclusion This study was useful in demonstrating the effectiveness of introducing a dedicated Paediatric Medicine Management Pharmacy Technician to the paediatric wards in a DGH. It showed that the proportion of medicine reconciliations within 24 hours prior to the change was very low, but after the change it was very high with nearly all patients having a completed medicines reconciliation within 24 hours. Prior to the introduction of a dedicated Paediatric Medicines Management Pharmacy Technician, the paediatric wards at this DGH were not meeting the standards set by NICE regarding medicines reconciliations within 24 hours of being admitted to an acute setting. After the introduction the paediatric wards were meeting these standards. By meeting NICE guideline QS120 Medicines Optimisation, the DGH has reduced the likelihood of medicines-related safety incidents. With the introduction of a dedicated Paediatric Medicines Management Pharmacy Technician there have been many other benefits. These include counselling to parents/children on the use of their medicines; checking of patients’ own medicines to see if they are still fit for purpose; advice to parents about unlicensed medicines and why they are used; where to obtain further supplies when new medicines have been started; and assisting parents and GP surgeries with any supply issues.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Medicines Optimisation (internet). (London):NICE; March 2016.(Quality Standard [QS120]). Available from www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs120//chapter/Quality-statement-4-Medicines-reconciliation-in-acute-settings
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