Accreditation

Three tips for successful reconciliation training

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, December 1, 2005

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An expert shares her hospital's experience

Learning objectives: After reading this article, you will be able to

1. list three pieces of information a successful medication reconciliation training program should have

2. discuss when to develop a medication-reconciliation policy

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the book Medication Reconciliation: Practical Strategies and Tools for JCAHO Compliance, by Maureen Gibbs, RN, BSN, published by HCPro, Inc. For more information or to order, visit www.hcmarketplace.com or call 800/650-6787.

As you roll out your medication reconciliation process, staff need to understand the definition of medication reconciliation and be able to demonstrate how the process occurs across the continuum of care including admission, transfer, and discharge.

A successful medication reconciliation training program likely will include the following information:

1. A clear definition of medication reconciliation. Before you begin training staff on the steps of your specific process, ensure that staff thoroughly understand the basic definition of medication reconciliation.

Milford (MA) Regional Medical Center leaders teach staff the following definition of medication reconciliation: "Medication reconciliation is the process that compares the patient's current list of medications against the physician's admission, discharge, or transfer orders."

Because medication reconciliation is a National Safety Patient Goal and surveyed under tracer methodology, all staff--not just those at the bedside--must be able to discuss the process. All staff should be able to communicate your hospital's definition of medication reconciliation to JCAHO surveyors.

Those directly involved in the process, of course, must demonstrate to the JCAHO how medication reconciliation occurs at your facility.

Use your training efforts to make medication reconciliation a buzzw phrase. Take advantage of any opportunity to discuss it with staff. Nurse managers should keep medication reconciliation on the agenda of every staff meeting and use internal hospital newsletters, intranet sites, and e-mail (if available) to publish information about this topic.

Physician champions also can address medication reconciliation at medical-staff meetings.

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