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August 1991

The Adverse Effects of Hospitalization on Drug Regimens

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacy, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Tex. Dr Omori is now a fellow in general internal medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Dr Potyk is in the Department of Pharmacy, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Dr Kroenke is now in the Department of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(8):1562-1564. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400080064011

To determine the effect of hospitalization on errors in patients' drug regimens, 157 consecutive patients discharged on regimens of four or more drugs were identified, of whom 94 were eligible for study. Thirty-four (79%) of 43 local patients were interviewed within 1 month after discharge, and 28 (55%) of 51 patients who were mailed a questionnaire responded. Regimen errors were detected in 50% of both groups. Overall, 20 (32%) of 62 patients had incorrectly added or deleted a drug, and 11 (18%) were taking the correct drugs but had errors in dosing. Twelve potentially serious errors were detected. Patients with regimen errors had been discharged taking more drugs (6.1 vs 5.10) and tended to have more drug changes during hospitalization (2.7 vs 1.90). Particular attention should be paid to drug regimens during hospitalization and in subsequent follow-up visits.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1562-1564)