Research has shown that patients are most susceptible to medication-related problems (MRPs) when transitioning from hospital to home. Currently, the literature in this area focuses on interventions, which are mainly orientated around the perspective of the health-care professional and do not take into account patient perspectives and experiences.
In this study, a series of open-ended questions were included to gain a deeper insight and understanding of the patient’s perspective on their attitudes, beliefs and preferences. The current literature in this area quantitatively identifies the types of medication-related problems post-discharge and interventions used to primarily reduce them, which are mainly orientated around the perspective of health-care professionals. There is a need for health-care providers to be informed about patients’ perspectives and experience of the health system.
A growing body of evidence has firmly established that patients are most susceptible to experiencing adverse events during the transition from hospital to home. It is estimated that approximately 20% of patients have experienced at least one adverse event when transitioning from hospital to home. In Australia, medication-related hospital admissions cost approximately $1.2 billion annually. Thus, health-care providers have recognszed the importance of improving medication safety during the transition from hospital to home.
Patient engagement is widely advocated in addressing the issue of medication safety; however, its execution in practice is limited. Patient engagement is defined as the level to which: (i) patients are involved in their own health-care and treatment, (ii) information flows between the patient and the health-care provider and (iii) perceived personal control the patient has over their health status and well-being. Few studies have investigated how empowering patients results in improving medication safety. Yet, these studies were limited by the fact that patients were simply provided with information on how to self-medicate, with no opportunity for discussion between health-care professionals and the patient.
Patients desire to be involved in their health and participate in decisions about treatment. Recently, health-care delivery has placed an emphasis on patient-centred care. There is good evidence that this can lead to improvements in medication safety and patient satisfaction. Nonetheless, an extensive review of the literature has shown that there are very few studies, which have focused on the patients’ perspectives of medication safety post-discharge, and to the authors’ knowledge there is no published Australian literature.
The aim of this study was to gather data on the patient’s perspectives and experiences regarding MRPs following discharge from hospital. The broader aim of this project was to gather patient insights and experiences to eventually develop and investigate multidisciplinary integrative strategies that will support patients in safely navigating the health system and avoiding medication-related problems.
You can read the full report of this research below: