Documentation of accurate and comprehensive medication histories at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

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Background: Medication errors represent the most common patient safety errors. Most of these errors result in adverse drug reactions, which cause harm to patients. Essential in preventing these medication errors, is the record of a complete and accurate medication history. Aim: To evaluate the use of a formalised approach in obtaining patients‟ medication histories and also assess pharmacists‟ knowledge and perception of the medication history taking process. Methods: The study, conducted at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, involved a cross-sectional medication history interview of a purposive sample of 300 in-patients using a structured interview guide, an audit of the medication histories documented by physicians in folders of the sampled in-patients, and completion of a structured questionnaire by 55 pharmacists at the hospital. Results: With the use of an interview guide during medication history taking, the frequency of documentation of medication history information increased significantly (p = 0.000) for all the eight medication history components compared to when no interview guide was used. The depth of medication history information documented also increased significantly for four of the medication history components outlined (for prescribed, non-prescribed and social drugs, p = 0.000, and for source of medication, p = 0.025). Pharmacists at KATH had an excellent knowledge (Mean = 4.32, SD = 0.78) and a positive perception (Mean = 3.90, SD = 0.89) of the medication history taking process. An inverse association was observed between pharmacists‟ hospital pharmacy practice years and their knowledge of medication history taking. This was statistically significant (p = 0.024). iii Conclusion: The use of a formalised approach in taking the medication history of patients improves the quality of medication history information documented. Pharmacists are knowledgeable in the medication history taking process and are willing to be involved in it. However, the greater the number of hospital pharmacy practice years of pharmacists, the more likely they are to have little knowledge of medication history taking.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN CLINICAL PHARMACY