Applying Health Information Technology to Improve Medication Management

Focus: 

To define the business case for using technology to improve the medication reconciliation process as part of the ambulatory care workflow

Anticipated Impact: 

Changing the patient culture on the importance of knowing their medications

Abstract: 

Medication errors are a major problem in clinical medicine, and they account for the majority of patient safety problems in ambulatory settings.

The goal of this project is to define the business case for using technology to improve the medication reconciliation process as part of the ambulatory care workflow. In other words, we hope to improve patient care while making the job of clinic staff easier.

This project is a before-and-after controlled study of both the time required for, and the staff satisfaction associated with, the process of obtaining an accurate list of medications for patients 18 and older who present to emergency departments in the State of Washington, a setting in which medication reconciliation is expected to be both more time consuming and of greater importance than in other settings. We will include one group of emergency departments that have an electronic medical record linking them to ambulatory practices in their community, and one group of emergency departments that do not. We will explore approaches developed by two Washington companies, the Yakima-based EMR Chart Connect and One Health Port of Seattle. The intervention will be 1) to set up functionality to match patient identity with the national RxHub data base and receive immediately a list of medications with dates the patient has received them from a pharmacy chain or mail-order PBM, and 2) a staff training designed to optimize the medication reconciliation workflow using "Lean" process redesign principles that eliminate unnecessary wasted effort and maximize the efficiency of the process.

Medication Management

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Jeffrey Hummel
Grantee Organization:
Qualis Health
Grant Title:
Applying Health Information Technology to Improve Medication Management
Grant Cohort and Year:
2007 Beneficial Applications of Technology in Health Care: Improving Health-Care Quality and Cost Effectiveness (01)
Grant Period:
11/01/2007 - 04/30/2009 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
$279,654

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact
Seattle
Yakima

Legislative Districts:
11, 14, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Medication Management