Medi(c)ation Work in the Emergency Department: Making Standardized Practice Work
Medication review, the systematic examination of an individual patient’s medicines in order to improve medication therapy, has been advocated as an important patient safety measure. Despite widespread use, little is known about how medication review is conducted when implemented in routine health care. Drawing from an ethnographic case study in a Swedish emergency department and using a practice-based approach, we examine how medication review is practically accomplished and how knowledge is mobilized in everyday practice. We show how physicians construct and negotiate medication safety through situated practices and thereby generate knowledge through mundane activities. We illustrate the centrality of practitioners’ collective reflexive work when co-constructing meaning and argue here that practitioners’ local adaptations can serve as important prerequisites to make “standardized” practice function in everyday work. Organizations need to build a practical capacity to support practitioners’ work-based learning in messy and time-pressured health care settings.
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