Patients in Kentucky can be seriously impacted by prescribing or medication list errors. This is one of the reasons why a group of physician assistant student researchers has developed a new patient medication interview process. It’s meant to serve as part of a medication reconciliation training program for medical record technicians.
In order to determine how effective their approach to medical reconciliation might be, researchers conducted a pre-implementation review. They identified medical record technicians who were not sufficiently trained in conducting reconciliation procedures. Some of them might have not been familiar with patients’ electronic records. Researchers also found that patients may come to visits without updated medication lists, or they may not be able to recall what they are currently taking.
According to pre-implementation results, half of the technicians were “thorough” with their patient interviews, meaning they asked enough questions to confirm that medication records were correct and accurate. Around 35% of the technicians conducted partial interviews, and nearly 15% failed to bring up medications at all while interacting with patients. But when the standardized training regimen was implemented with a script of questions to ask patients and a list of common medications, medication reconciliation was 100% thorough without any absent or partial questioning. Researchers hope their findings will provide an incentive to conduct future studies comparing their approach to patient interviews regarding medications with other patient data collection methods.
Should a patient be affected by issues with their medications, a medical malpractice lawyer may recommend pursuing appropriate legal action against responsible parties. While physicians are commonly part of such litigation, a medical records technician might also be considered a responsible party if he or she failed to question a patient about their meds. Compensation may also be sought if inaccurate records resulted in serious or fatal health issues for an affected patient.