Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Studying Medication Use & Safety

Today an important barrier to effective medication reconciliation is the unreliability of the patient’s own reports concerning their own medication use. Today, the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (JJP-VA) a facility in the Bronx is using VA grant support for the project “Implementing a Regional Data Exchange Tool to Improve Medication Use and Safety”.

The researchers will use data obtained from the Bronx RHIO to examine transitional drug risks, adverse drug events, and total inpatient costs. They want to examine how the information available to providers from the Bronx RHIO that houses information on both VA administered medications and medications issued from outside the VA, is being used. To be effective, this information needs to be reconciled in order to go into the patient’s medical record.

The VA also wants to identify system and provider factors that may be impeding the adoption of the information in the RHIO by VA providers. The objective is to find out what impedes or would help the adoption of the RHIO for routine use by providers and also to find ways to improve the RHIO.

The plans are to conduct a controlled trial to study the medication reconciliation process at the time of hospital admission to see if the information is either enhanced or not enhanced with data from the regional health information exchange. They are also going to examine the effects on transition drug risk, adverse drug events, and total inpatient costs.

The study set up in two inpatient units at the JJP-VA has assigned the first group of patients to a group to receive the usual medication reconciliation. The second group is assigned to a group where the RHIO enhanced medication reconciliation information is also available and if applicable, the patient’s non-VA medications will be studied.

For more information on the project (IIRIO-146) starting 2011 and ending 2014, email Kenneth Boochvar at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center at Kenneth.boochvar@mssm.edu or call (718) 584-9000.