The online first edition of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP) has shared the results of a study that described the feasibility and assessed the potential effectiveness of implementing pharmacist-led interviews at patient admission to a rheumatology department.

The study found that pharmacist-led interviews at patient admission were effective in detecting medication errors and could be an alternative to a full medication reconciliation process in targeted situations. When the patient interview does not provide sufficiently robust information, full medication reconciliation may be performed.

The study, ‘Implementation and effectiveness of pharmacistled interviews at patient hospital admission in a rheumatology department’, examined how “implementation of a simplified process, such as patient interviews at admission without full reconciliation, may contribute to improve patient care. The objective of the present study was to describe the feasibility and assess the potential effectiveness of implementing pharmacist-led interviews at patient admission to a rheumatology department,” said the authors.

The prospective, observational study of pharmacist-led interviews at patient admission looked at interviews conducted between April 2015 and May 2017 in the 34- bed rheumatology department of Edouard Herriot Hospital, a French university hospital. The main outcome was the number of medication errors at admission, whilst other outcomes included: The total number of interviews; the number of interviews with at least one medication error detected; the number of interviews leading to a modification of the hospital medication order; and the number of interviews with at least one new item of information provided by the patient.

“Among the interviews conducted, 135 (55 per cent) provided new information concerning patient medication management and 117 medication errors were identified in hospital orders (0.47/patient),” wrote the authors.

“There were 76 interviews (31 per cent) with at least one medication error; all led to a medication order modification.” The researchers concluded: “The study found that pharmacist-led interviews at patient admission were effective in detecting medication errors. They could be an alternative to a full medication reconciliation process in targeted situations. When the patient interview does not provide sufficiently robust information, full medication reconciliation may be performed.”