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Preventing drug-related adverse events following hospital discharge: the role of the pharmacist

Authors Nicholls J, MacKenzie C, Braund R

Received 25 October 2016

Accepted for publication 4 January 2017

Published 13 February 2017 Volume 2017:6 Pages 61—69

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IPRP.S104639

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling


Justine Nicholls,1 Craig MacKenzie,1 Rhiannon Braund2

1Dunedin Hospital Pharmacy, 2School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


Abstract: Transition of care (ToC) points, and in particular hospital admission and discharge, can be associated with an increased risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) and other drug-related problems (DRPs). The growing recognition of the pharmacist as an expert in medication management, patient education and communication makes them well placed to intervene. There is evidence to indicate that the inclusion of pharmacists in the health care team at ToC points reduces ADEs and DRPs and improves patient outcomes. The objectives of this paper are to outline the following using current literature: 1) the increased risk of medication-related problems at ToC points; 2) to highlight some strategies that have been successful in reducing these problems; and 3) to illustrate how the role of the pharmacist across all facets of care can contribute to the reduction of ADEs, particularly for patients at ToC points.

Keywords: pharmacist, adverse drug events, drug-related problems, transitions of care, hospital discharge

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