Improving the reliability and accuracy of medicine reconciliation and polypharmacy medication reviews in an orthopaedic ward

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

  • Project was led by Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, as an extension of phase two of the Health Foundation’s Safer Clinical Systems programme.
  • Based on an orthopaedic ward at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.
  • Aimed to improve reliability in medicines reconciliation on discharge and achieve a 50% reduction in prescribing errors.
  • Identified weaknesses in the patient risk assessment and prescribing system, and developed interventions to improve reliability to above 95%.




The Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary team built on an earlier Safer Clinical Systems project that had reduced prescribing errors in the acute medical unit (AMU), to improve the reliability of medicines reconciliation on admission and discharge from an orthopaedic ward. Using the Safer Clinical Systems approach, the team:

  • delivered staff training on quality improvement and human factors, and provided guidance on the practical application of improvement tools and techniques
  • evaluated potential interventions such as electronic medicine reconciliation and supported patients to use their own medicines while in hospital, both of which had been successfully implemented on the AMU
  • compared data across the AMU and orthopaedic ward to support collaborative working and sustainability
  • developed safety cases and shared them across the AMU and orthopaedic teams.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please email Margaret Marshall, Project Pharmacist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

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