To investigate the transfer of information regarding prescribed medication between primary and secondary care sectors. Patients aged 18–65 years, ready for discharge from hospital, were invited to participate. Prescribed medication was recorded from their hospital and general practitioner records. The significance of discrepancies identified between medication lists was assessed independently by four judges.
Discrepancies occurred for 39 out of 43 patients at each stage of medication information transfer. Discrepancies at the time of admission and following discharge occurred in 69% and 43%, respectively, of drugs studied. It was judged that harm would occur to the patient, should the discrepancy be reproduced, in 24% and 18%, respectively, of cases.
IMPLICATIONS Discrepancies in the transfer of information regarding prescribed medication may result in harm to patients.
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