In this editorial for BMJ Quality & Safety, Dr Tamasine Grimes makes the case for greater patient involvement in managing medication, particularly at points of transition in care. She comments on a recent report on the effects of MARQUIS2, an evidence-based toolkit trialled in North American hospitals to help manage complex medication. The report found that interventions that involved patients in managing their medication had a significant effect in decreasing medication discrepancies, while purely system-level interventions did not.
Based on the evidence in the MARQUIS2 report, this editorial suggests that the following approaches could make patient involvement more effective:
- Healthcare workers need to choose appropriate times to offer information and coaching so that patients are more likely to be receptive. For example, giving medication instructions in advance, rather than waiting for the moment they are discharged.
- Research needs to apply a more general approach to patient medication experiences, rather than focusing on specific settings and timeframes, such as a hospital stay. Tracking the role patients play in managing their medication and treatment across all settings will provide better insight into areas for improvement.
- A further area for research is to identify barriers that stop patients and caregivers responding to targeted patient involvement interventions.