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In the global REduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry of 44 573 outpatients 45 years or older and at risk of, or with, atherothrombosis, Udell et al found that living alone was independently associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among middle-aged participants.
This systematic review by Mueller et al included controlled intervention studies on medication reconciliation in the hospital setting. Seventeen controlled studies were identified and reported on pharmacist-related (n = 10), information technology-related (n = 4), and other (n = 3) interventions. Studies consistently demonstrated a reduction in medication discrepancies (12/12 studies), potential adverse drug events (5/5 studies), and adverse drug events (1/1 study), but showed inconsistent reduction in postdischarge healthcare utilization (significant improvement in 2/5 studies). The comparison group for all studies was usual care, with no direct comparisons of different types of interventions. The authors concluded that there is a paucity of rigorously designed studies comparing different modalities of inpatient medication reconciliation practices and their effect on clinical outcomes. Available evidence supports medication reconciliation interventions that heavily use pharmacy staff and focus on a high-risk group. Higher-quality studies are needed to determine the most effective approaches to inpatient medication reconciliation.
In This Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(14):1052. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.967
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