Minnesota QIO Recommends Three Actions for Improving Medication Management in Transitions of Care

Stratis Health recommends three actions for improving medication management in transitions of care by improving workflow in health care settings, in its white paper “Understanding and Improving Medication Reconciliation Between Hospitals and Nursing Homes”.

The recommendations are made from a quality improvement perspective, with the intent to give guidance to and support action by hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacists. These recommendations also can inform policy and regulatory considerations and action.

Recommendations

  1. Implement interventions that assure indications and diagnoses are documented for all prescribed medications.
  2. Increase pharmacy’s role in medication reconciliation in transitions of care.
  3. Implement an interdisciplinary approach to medication reconciliation that occurs before or during the care transition that includes hospital, nursing home, and pharmacy staff.

Waste and Risk Examples
The white paper also highlights the waste and risk in care transitions between hospitals and nursing homes using three real-life examples of common medication issues to illustrate the risk and cost of current practices:

  • Missing indication and/or diagnosis
  • Inappropriate dosing
  • Medication evaluation and follow up

Development of this white paper continued Stratis Health’s collaborative work with partners in pharmacies and skilled nursing facilities that started in the Health Information Technology for Post Acute Care (HITPAC)—a one-year special innovation project funded by CMS through its Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. HITPAC aimed to transform the fragmented medication reconciliation processes and facilitate stronger care transition communication across health care settings through the electronic exchange of health information.

More information
Find the Understanding and Improving Medication Reconciliation Between Hospitals and Nursing Homes white paper (12-page PDF) and the HITPAC project brief online.

Stratis Health partners with MPRO and MetaStar to serve as the Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network to support health care quality improvement in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin through the Medicare QIO Program.