Clinical question: What medication reconciliation practices are the most effective and beneficial to patients?
Background: Medication reconciliation identifies the most accurate medications a patient is taking which can limit adverse drug events. A wide variety of practices have been reported.
Study design: Systematic review of the literature.
Setting: Twenty-six controlled studies.
Synopsis: Using both MEDLINE and manual search, 26 studies of medication reconciliation practices were identified that met inclusion criteria. Studies were divided into pharmacist-related interventions, information technology interventions, and other. Reported interventions were found to successfully reduce medication discrepancies but the effects on adverse drug event reduction were inconsistent. The scarcity of rigorously designed studies does limit the ability to compare medication reconciliation strategies. Only 6 of the reviewed studies were considered good quality. Future studies will require more standardized methods and rigorous outcome measurements.
Bottom line: Current data regarding medication reconciliation is limited, but supports use of pharmacy staff and focusing efforts on patients at high risk for adverse drug events.
Citation:Mueller SK, Sponsler KC, Kripalani S, et al. Hospital-based medication reconciliation practices: a systematic review. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(14):1057-1069.