Medication discrepancies are a common, preventable cause of harm to patients and occur in up to 70% of patients at hospital admission or discharge. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), medication reconciliation is the process of identifying the most accurate list of all medications a patient is taking and using this list to provide correct medications for patients anywhere within the health care system. When a patient is admitted or discharged from a site of care (e.g., a hospital), it is vitally important that the health care provider ensures that the patient’s list of medications is absolutely accurate and both includes any new medications and excludes any medications that the patient should discontinue.
Publicly reported for the first time in 2018, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey now includes a new and improved measure that’s endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF): Number of Unintentional Medication Discrepancies per Patient. The measure, in use in over a dozen hospitals across the country, focuses on the quality and accuracy of the hospital’s medication reconciliation process. The measure is applicable to adult patients only.