Berlin (dpa) - Doctors in hospitals often do not know exactly which drugs their patients are already taking.

Especially with patients who need at least five drugs at the same time, there is a lack of information that can have dangerous consequences, states the Barmer health insurance company in its drug report, which it presented in Berlin. Even the patients themselves often do not know about the medication.

“It is incomprehensible that admission to a hospital is so error-prone as a millions of processes. That can be life-threatening. It must be prevented that patients are harmed due to a lack of information », criticizes Barmer CEO Christoph Straub. Even when discharging from the hospitals, there is often a lack of sufficient information for the treating doctors.

Every third patient treated in a hospital with a modified therapy did not receive an updated medication plan there. Many respondents stated that the doctor had not explained the new therapy to them. “Medicinal therapy can only be successful if the patient understands and supports it. To do this, he has to have them explained accordingly, ”says the author of the drug report, Daniel Grandt, chief physician at the Saarbrücken Clinic.

Every year several million people come to the hospital who take at least five drugs at the same time. In 2017 alone, 2.8 million people nationwide were so-called polypharmacy patients on the day they were admitted to the clinic. According to the report, only 29 percent of patients admitted to the hospital had the nationwide medication plan, which is designed to prevent information loss between doctors. Since October 2016, every patient who regularly takes at least three medications has a right to such a plan. 17 percent did not even have an up-to-date list of their drugs. Existing plans were also often incomplete.

The cause of the information deficits is less the individual doctor than the insufficiently organized and inadequately digitally supported process of cross-sectoral treatment, criticized Straub. Barmer has therefore developed a concept for its policyholders that is intended to improve the flow of information.

According to Barmer, around 2,900 insured polypharmacy patients over 65 years and 150 general practitioners were surveyed for the report.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200813-99-151707 / 4

Communication on the report