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Gaps in continuity of medication management during the transition from hospital to residential care: An observational study (MedGap Study)


Mr Rohan A Elliott, Pharmacy Department, Austin Health. Email:


Aim:  To assess continuity of medication management during transition from hospital to residential care facilities (RCFs).

Method:  Telephone interviews with RCF staff were performed 24 hours after patient transfer to determine the proportion of patients with: missed or significantly delayed doses; RCF medication chart not written/updated in time for the first dose; suitably packed medications not available for the first dose; and RCF medication chart written/updated by a locum doctor. Retrospective audit was used to identify discharge summary discrepancies.

Results:  Seventy-five doses for 37/202 (18.3%) patients were missed or significantly delayed in the 24 hours after discharge. One hundred and twenty-five (61.9%) patients did not have their medication chart written/updated and 77 (38.1%) did not have suitably packed medications available for the first dose. Locum doctors wrote RCF medication charts for 66 (32.7%) patients. One hundred and ninety-seven of 392 (50.3%) changes to regularly scheduled medications were communicated.

Conclusions:  Strategies are needed to address gaps in the continuity of medication management.