Brown Bag Medication Check-Ups Campaign

Problem:

Medication errors represent the most common patient safety error in hospitals today, with the average hospitalized patient subjected to roughly one medication error per day. More than 40 percent of these errors are believed to be the result of inadequate reconciliation in handoffs between admission, transfer and discharge, with 20 percent of those errors resulting in harm. Many of these errors come from incomplete medication reconciliation efforts.

The Goal:

Reduce medication errors by instituting a “brown-bag” medication checkup campaign with patients taking more than three medications to ensure more accurate medication reconciliations in the future.  

Method & Implementation:

The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence began their “Campaign for Meds Management” by encouraging patients with chronic conditions to schedule a “brown-bag checkup” as a safety measure to establish a list of their current medications and over-the-counter products so any potential issues or problems could be properly identified. Part of this campaign involved issuing free drawstring backpacks that helpfully listed what items to bring to the checkup. These checkups provide the patient with an accurate, comprehensive medication list that facilitates all future reconciliation efforts.

For more information about this story or to tell us about your own best practices, email us at stories@scha.org.

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