Last week I wrote about Hospital hand-offs and medical errors and how they are a systemic problem in hospitals and that it is an area that needs to be improved.
It is a complex problem, a number of organizations are embarking on projects in attempts to solve the issue. There are various innovative strategies such as Project BOOST and Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge), which respectively provide a comprehensive toolkit for handoffs and patient-centered interactions to learn about after-care plans following discharge.
Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston writes about a Senior Resident, Kelly Graham, who helped initiate three simple interventions that dramatically improved patient handoff outcomes.
Recently I met with the CEO from Mercy Hospital in Dunedin, who said that
a better tool for medication hand-offs would help during admissions as well as patient discharges. All too often now the “Hospital Reconciliation Tool” consists simply of patients bringing a bag with all the meds they are on
– we checked with Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, where it is also the same procedure. Conversations we have had with various clinicians indicates that to hope that all medications are all neatly noted down correctly and then made available for clinicians in the hospital to view whenever required is just that, a hope.
We hope we can provide a solution to at least the medicine reconciliation part of the equation soon with our new Med Optimization tool. It should work for hospital handoffs as well as community-based healthcare at pharmacies. If anyone working at a hospital would like to try out a better handoff tool for medication regimes, by all means drop us a line.
Yours in health,