Greater than 50% of medication errors are estimated to occur during transitions of care, and solid-organ transplant recipients are at an increased risk for errors due to significant changes in their medication regimen following transplantation. This prospective, observational study with a historical control group was conducted to evaluate the discharge process for transplant recipients and determine if transplant pharmacist involvement would improve safety. During the prospective period, a total of 191 errors were made on discharge medication reconciliations (n = 64, mean rate 3.0 per patient); however, pharmacists prevented 119 of these errors (1.9 errors per patient). In the retrospective period, none of the 430 errors identified were prevented at the time of discharge (n = 128, p < 0.0001). The 72 errors not prevented at the time of discharge in the prospective cohort were identified by the pharmacist at the patient's first clinic visit (1.1 errors per patient). In the historical cohort, all 430 errors made at discharge persisted until at least the time of the first clinic visit (3.4 errors per patient, p < 0.0001). This study demonstrates that transplant recipients are at a high risk for medication errors and that transplant pharmacist involvement leads to improved safety through the significant reduction of medication errors.
© Copyright 2013 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.