Patient safety and medication use after discharge: exploratory study1

  • Liete de Fátima Gouveia Marques Universidade de São Paulo; Faculdade de Saúde Pública
  • Nicolina Silvana Romano-Lieber Universidade de São Paulo; Faculdade de Saúde Pública; Departamento de Prática de Saúde Pública


Few Brazilian studies have focused on patient safety strategies for safe use of medications after discharge leading to limited knowledge of current safety practices developed in Brazilian hospitals. The present study aimed to understand the dynamics and challenges of care provided to patients by hospital providers focusing on safe use of medications after discharge. An exploratory study was conducted and data was collected through interviews with physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers at the Hospital Universitário da Universidade de São Paulo, in São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Care practices regarding medication use during and following hospital stay including access to medicines after discharge, follow-up plans for coordinated, ongoing care, and barriers were investigated. The main strategy for safe use of medications after hospital discharge is to provide structured counseling for patients and particularly for caregivers of pediatric patients. The care team works to ensure access to the medications prescribed at discharge in special situations. Medication reconciliation is being implemented and home visits are limited to patients in critical condition with mobility problems. The main barriers identified in the study were limited information technology and human resources. It was concluded that there are some patient safety strategies in place but they are limited in scope and do not ensure coordinated, ongoing care after discharge. These findings point to a need to strengthen efforts to overcome the barriers identified to improve patient safety at the interface of hospital, primary care and the home setting.


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How to Cite
Marques, L., & Romano-Lieber, N. (2014). Patient safety and medication use after discharge: exploratory study1. Saúde E Sociedade, 23(4), 1431-1444.