On a national basis, more than half (54%) of hospital patients experience one or more errors in their “medical reconciliation” in hospital settings. Medical reconciliation, which is the “process of comparing a patient’s medication orders to all of the medications that the patient has been taking,” is done to avoid medications errors such as omissions, duplications, dosing errors, or drug interactions. To see if this record could be improved upon, researchers placed pharmacists in charge of the medication reconciliation effort. In response, the pharmacists diligently reviewed patient charts for unidentified medication and errors, interviewed patients in person to gather medication histories, and entered their assessments into the electronic medical records. In the end, accuracy improved three-fold to 94.2%.

Today’s column about “medical reconciliation” has been brought to you as a public service. At Med-Fast Pharmacy, our pharmacists are integral partners in helping provide you with the safest, most convenient, cost-effective prescription drugs. We are up-to-date on the latest treatments and would be pleased to discuss the options with you. If you have any concerns or questions about your options come see us.

Hint: The pilot study mentioned above illustrates pharmacists’ proficiency and thoroughness in doing the job they are trained to do.