Medication history on internal medicine wards: assessment of extra information collected from second drug interviews and GP lists

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2003 Sep;12(6):491-8. doi: 10.1002/pds.835.


Purpose: To assess the extra information about patients' pre-admission medication that second drug interviews and general practitioners' (GP) drug lists add to routine medication histories.

Methods: The medication histories of 81 patients from two medicine wards were compared with information collected from second interviews and GP drug lists. A panel of clinicians assessed the potential clinical impact of any discrepancies.

Results: In nine cases (11% CI: 6-20%) the medication history, the second interview and the GP lists were identical. The interviews revealed extra information about 54 prescription drugs and 72 over-the-counter drugs (OTCs) in 56 (69% CI: 58-78%) cases. The GP lists added 74 prescription drugs and 26 OTCs to the medication histories in 57 (70% CI: 60-79%) cases. Discrepancies were not associated with age, gender or number of drugs in medication history. In 18% (CI: 10-30%) of the cases, the specialist panel ascribed potential clinical problems to missing drug information.

Conclusions: Second interviews and GP lists reveal extra information about pre-admission medication in two-thirds of cases. Both procedures should be routinely performed to compile a more comprehensive basis for drug prescribing. This approach may mend the course of roughly one in five patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Documentation / methods
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • Hospital Departments / organization & administration
  • Hospital Departments / standards*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Patient Admission*
  • Physicians, Family*