Study: Around 50% of Patients Have Medication Errors Post-Discharge

Medication errors are present in approximately half of patients after hospital discharge, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Researchers measured health literacy, subjective numeracy, marital status, cognition, social support, educational attainment, income, depression, global health status and medication adherence in patients enrolled in the Vanderbilt Inpatient Cohort Study, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study took place from Oct. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012 and included 471 patients.

The mean total number of medications reported was 12, and 16.8 percent of patients had inadequate or marginal health literacy. The study found that 51.4 percent of patients were taking one or more discordant medications, that is, a medication that appeared on either the discharge list or patient-reported list but not both. Also, 27.4 percent failed to report a medication on their discharge list and 35.7 percent reported a medication not on their discharge list.

The study also found that 59.2 percent of patients had a misunderstanding in indication, dose, or frequency in a cardiac medication.

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