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Tuesday March 7, 2023  |  Luke Marinac

From Ribs to Regimens: Your Complete Guide to Medication Reconciliation

In Nashville and across much of the South, barbecue is a way of life. But, historically speaking, the mainstays of barbecue joints from Raleigh to Kansas City are relative newcomers to the kitchen table.

For example, the popularity of pork ribs wasn't the product of tradition, but rather an innovation brought on by 20th-century refrigeration and meat packing. In the past, the cuts that were prized the most in barbecue were things like the tenderloin, which comes from the pig's back—hence the expression "high on the hog."

In short: as new processes and technology became available, the recipes changed.

Just as you might need to review and update a recipe over time to account for changes in taste preferences or ingredient availability, medication reconciliation involves reviewing and updating a patient's medication regimen to account for changes in their health needs or medication availability.

In this post, we've stripped medication reconciliation down to the bone and served up only what you need to know to improve the quality of care.

What is Medication Reconciliation?

Medication reconciliation is the process of reviewing a patient's complete medication regimen at the time of admission, transfer, and discharge, then comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care.

This process helps to avoid common medical errors such as duplicating medication orders, eliminating a medication inadvertently, or prescribing incorrect dosages.

That said, medication reconciliation can be error-prone and laden with inconsistencies, leading to adverse drug events (ADEs), accounting for an estimated 1 in 3 of all hospital adverse events.

A Real-Life Scenario: The Critical Role of Accurate Patient Information

Consider this example: an ED nurse helps an elderly patient recently discharged from hospitalization for heart failure.

The patient has five prescriptions that were filled at two different pharmacies, but when asked about his current medications, he can only describe them as "three pills total, the white ones at bedtime and the blue at breakfast."

Accurately documenting the patient's medical history, allergies, and medications is essential for proper care, and any inconsistencies could jeopardize the patient's safety and prolong their hospital stay.

Medication Reconciliation in EHR Management Systems

To address medication reconciliation challenges, healthcare providers can use sophisticated EHR management systems to prompt them to inquire about changes in medication with patients and record that information at each point in a patient's transition of care.

Tip: Providers should also encourage patients to keep an updated medication list handy in case of emergencies.

MEDHOST Solutions

As patients become increasingly involved in their healthcare, medication reconciliation offers an example of how patients and providers must work together to ensure that quality care is received and delivered.

MEDHOST is committed to helping hospitals and healthcare providers overcome medication reconciliation challenges and provide clinicians with the insights they need to deliver the most relevant patient care possible. MEDHOST Pharmacy Experience, for instance, saves time and streamlines medication therapy by prioritizing unverified orders and providing quick access to patient charts. In addition, our integration with the CommonWell Health Alliance makes it easier than ever to access patient prescription information throughout the continuum of care.

To learn more about how MEDHOST can support clinical reconciliation, get in touch with us at or call 1.800.383.6278.

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