Objective: To investigate whether a Medication Report can reduce the number of medication errors when elderly patients are discharged from hospital.
Method: We conducted a prospective intervention with retrospective controls on patients at three departments at Lund University Hospital, Sweden that where transferred to primary care. The intervention group, where patients received a Medication Report at discharge, was compared with a control group with patients of the same age, who were not given a Medication Report when discharged from the same ward one year earlier.
Main outcome measures: The main outcome measure was the number of medication errors when elderly patients were discharged from hospital.
Results: Among 248 patients in the intervention group 79 (32%) had at least one medication error as compared with 118 (66%) among the 179 patients in the control group. In the intervention group 15% of the patients had errors that were considered to have moderate or high risk of clinical consequences compared with 32% in the control group. The differences were statistically significant (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Medication errors are common when elderly patients are discharged from hospital. The Medication Report is a simple tool that reduces the number of medication errors.