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Study finds GP and patient medication info out of sync
THE challenge of keeping electronic medical records up to date has been highlighted in a study of patient-GP concordance.
The study of patients on warfarin demonstrated the gap between what medications GPs think their patients are on and what the patients are actually taking.
Some 418 patients and their doctors participated in the Melbourne study presented at the National Medicines Symposium in Sydney last week.
A total of 4330 medicines were recorded by the patient or GP but records matched for only 57.7% of the drugs, the researchers found.
In the case of 760 (17.6%) medicines, the patient stated they were taking it but the GP did not have it recorded.
For 1072 (24.7%) medicines, the GP had recorded it but the patient was not taking it.
There was a lack of agreement for nearly a third of “significant” drugs, such as antihypertensives, the researchers found, and an even bigger gap (80%) in concordance for nonsignificant drugs.
Notably, patients whose warfarin was not well controlled were more likely to have non-concordant lists.
The researcher, Professor Michael Dooley, director of pharmacy at Alfred Health, found that the use of an electronic medical record did not impact on concordance.
He said the Australian personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR), when it arrived, would likely help but the challenge would be keeping it up to date.
“When a patient stops taking a medication does the system get updated?
“Sometimes patients will stop things they are supposed to be on, or doctors stop them but do not update the record,” Professor Dooley said.