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Improving Medication Reconciliation in a Private Emergency Department

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posted on 2022-06-02, 16:31 authored by Jessica Talbot
Medication reconciliation is the challenging process of obtaining the most accurate and up to date list possible of all the medications a person is taking. The World Health Organisation state that medication errors are one of the leading causes of injury and preventable harm in health care systems worldwide. They believe the yearly cost associated with these errors to be approximately $42 billion USD. They, along with other organisations, such as the Health Information and Quality Authority are dissatisfiedwith the accuracy of medication reconciliation in health care settings around the world and have called for improvement. The aim of this quality improvement project was to improve medication reconciliation in a private Emergency Department using the Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC) framework of quality improvement, along with other tools such as process flow maps, a stakeholder analysis and a fishbone diagram. Data analysis found thirteen out of nineteen patients (68%), aged between twenty-one and eighty-two, who attended the Emergency Department took regular medications. Just one out of the thirteen patients (8%) was able to correctly provide their medication names and doses from memory alone. By using quality improvement tools, it wasdetermined that the introduction of medication passports for patients could improve medication reconciliation within the department. It is believed that these passports would not only improve medication reconciliation but will also decrease medication errors and more importantly, increase patient safety.


First Supervisor

Dr. Pauline Joyce


A thesis submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Physician Associate Studies, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2022

Published Citation

Talbot J,. Improving Medication Reconciliation in a Private Emergency Department [MSc Thesis]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2022

Degree Name

MSc Physician Associate Studies

Date of award



  • MSc Physician Associate Studies