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Study looks at ways to reduce medication errors

People who live in Louisiana and who must help a family member manage medications after being in the hospital or who must manage their own medications after a hospital stay know just how difficult this can be. It is not uncommon for a patient to have multiple drugs to take at varying times of the day. There may be a myriad of requirements as well. For example, some drugs may have to be taken with food while others should not be.

These are just some of the nuances that can complicate matters and open the door for a patient to take the wrong medication or the wrong dose at the wrong time. The potential for patient harm if this happens is real. Finding ways to prevent these errors and injuries is important and was a focal point of a study conducted in Ireland. The results of the study were published in the British Journal of General Practice.

As explained by Becker's Hospital Review, the study compared safety and drug adherence accuracy results in two patient groups. One group included patients who were sent home from the hospital with handwritten instructions about their post-discharge medications. The other group included patients who were given flash drives that linked to their electronic health records for access to their medication instructions.

From the findings of the study, it appears that the use of the electronic records may provide patients with a reduced risk of post-hospitalization drug errors and, therefore, improved safety and health during and after their recoveries.

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