Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
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Background: Poor prescribing and incomplete medication administration have been linked to increased lengths of hospitalization for patients with Parkinson disease. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has recommended that patients with Parkinson disease receive a pharmacy consultation within 2 h of admission to hospital. Objectives: To examine whether the time for a pharmacy team member to obtain a best possible medication history (BPMH) was associated with administration-related medication errors. The primary outcome was the proportion of doses with a medication error during a patient's admission in relation to the time to completion of the initial BPMH by a registered pharmacist (RPh) or registered pharmacy technician (RPhT). The secondary objective was to compare the proportion of doses with a medication error in relation to whether the BPMH was completed by an RPh or an RPhT. Methods: This retrospective chart review involved patients with Parkinson disease who were admitted to the medicine services at London Health Sciences Centre from September 30, 2014, to September 30, 2018. Patients were included if they had Parkinson disease and a medication regimen that included levodopa-carbidopa. For all patients, an RPhT or RPh conducted the initial BPMH or updated the BPMH. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine whether a correlation existed between administration-related errors and completion of the BPMH by a pharmacy staff member. Results: A total of 84 patients with 104 admissions were included. There was no significant correlation between the time to completion of the initial BPMH by a pharmacy team member and the proportion of doses with medication errors (p = 0.32). Although RPhTs completed the BPMHs more quickly than RPhs (p < 0.001), there was no significant difference between pharmacy team members in terms of the proportion of doses with medication errors (p = 0.86). Conclusions: Completing a BPMH within 2 h of a patient's admission, as per the ISMP recommendation, is unlikely to affect administration-related medication errors, given that no correlation was identified. Expediting BPMH without addressing other factors is insufficient, and initiatives are required to improve the medication administration process.