Accreditation group warns of medication errors during transfers

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The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has issued a sentinel event alert to healthcare providers, urging them to accurately and completely compare drug orders with the actual medication taken at every transition of care.

At least 63% of medication errors reported to the JCAHO database were caused by a breakdown in communication. Effective medication reconciliation could have prevented half of those events, according to JCAHO.

JCAHO recommends adherence to the following reconciliation process during a transition in care to a different setting, service, practitioner or level of care: develop a list of current medications; develop a list of medications to be prescribed; compare the medications on the two lists; make clinical decisions based on the comparison; and, communicate the new list to appropriate caregivers and to the resident.

Read the alert at .