Patients on haemodialysis have been identified as high-risk for medication discrepancies and adverse drug events. Medication reconciliation is an important patient safety initiative to prevent adverse drug events. The primary objective of our study was to determine the number and types of medication discrepancies and drug therapy problems (DTPs) identified in patients on haemodialysis. Our second objective was to assess the potential clinical impact and severity of all unintentional medication discrepancies identified.Methods:
Patients in an academic haemodialysis unit were interviewed to obtain a best possible medication history (BPMH) between May and August 2010. The BPMH was documented and discrepancies were identified, classified and resolved with the interprofessional team. An interprofessional panel conducted a discrepancy clinical impact assessment for potential adverse drug events.Results:
Two hundred and twenty-eight patients on haemodialysis were interviewed and 512 discrepancies were identified for 151 patients (3.4 discrepancies per patient). Of these, 174 (34%) were undocumented intentional discrepancies and 338 (66%) were unintentional discrepancies. The unintentional discrepancies were classified as 21% omissions, 36% commissions and 43% incorrect dose/frequency. Most drug therapy problems were related to patient taking a medication that was not indicated (25%), medication required but patient not taking (25%), patient not willing to take the medication as prescribed (28%) or incorrect dosing of a drug (20%). Overall, 6% of discrepancies were classified as clinically significant potential adverse drug events.Conclusion:
Medication discrepancies appear to be common in patients on haemodialysis. Formal interprofessional medication reconciliation practice models are essential to identify discrepancies and prevent patients from experiencing adverse drug events.