Exploration of attitudes and barriers to bringing patient’s own medications to the Emergency Department: A survey of paramedics

Esther Chan, Simone Taylor, Jennifer Marriott, Bill Barger



Previous research has demonstrated that when ambulance paramedics facilitate patient‟s own medications (POM) being brought in to the Emergency Department (ED), the number of prescribing errors on the hospital admission medication chart was significantly decreased, thereby increasing admission prescribing accuracy. We aimed to examine paramedics‟ attitudes to bringing POM to the ED and explore the associated barriers.


This was a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of ambulance paramedics bringing patients to the ED of a tertiary-referral metropolitan teaching hospital. The questionnaire consisted of 5 questions and took approximately 2 minutes to complete.


The response rate for the survey was 81.9% (50/61). The study demonstrated a general agreement that bringing POM to the ED was important. Most highly rated barriers noted by respondents to bringing POM included time limitations (60%), location of patient pick up (44%), fear of losing patient‟s medications (24%) and patient‟s refusal (18%).


Overall, paramedics perceived bringing POM to ED as being important. There are identifiable barriers to paramedics bringing POM to the Emergency Department on admission. Resolution of such barriers may increase the frequency with which POM is brought to hospital, leading to a positive impact on prescribing accuracy.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33151/ajp.6.4.472


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The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia © 2020                           ISSN: 2202-7270


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