This article describes how a nurse-led interdisciplinary team conducts research on a new method of achieving “medication reconciliation”— that is, “reconciling” a patient’s current medications with those he or she is taking while in hospital. The Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Initiative, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is funding the research.
The Initiative is designed to address knowledge gaps between nursing care and patient outcomes. This particular interdisciplinary team included a nursing researcher, an assistant director of nursing clinical quality and informatics, a physician adviser and a pharmacy medication safety officer. Procedures were developed to complete electronic medication lists for 937 study patients and to identify discrepancies in medication care. Each team member provided valuable expertise. One factor that became clear during the study was that patients do not always understand their current medication information, and so the research team now provides medication information tailored to a patient’s knowledge level. In addition, nurses have developed a laminated medication list for each patient to take home to ensure a smooth transition to the next care provider.