Hospital staff should be extra careful about medication accuracy when transferring patients to new units or from one level of care to the next, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations warned in its first sentinel event alert of the year. The JCAHO urged hospitals to list prescribed medications in a highly visible place on patient charts; practice medication reconciliation -- comparing orders and the actual medication patients have been taking -- at every transition of care; and provide each patient with a complete take-home list of the medications prescribed. Some 63% of medication errors reported to the JCAHO database stemmed from communication failures, and effective medication reconciliation could have averted half of those events, the JCAHO said. Read the alert.
JCAHO warns of medication-reconciliation errors
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.