Improving medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2007 May;33(5):286-92. doi: 10.1016/s1553-7250(07)33033-x.


Background: A systematic study into outpatient medication reconciliation was conducted to determine if a multifaceted intervention influencing providers and patients reduced discrepancies related to inadequate prescription medication reconciliation in an outpatient setting.

Methods: A prospective trial was conducted on 104 primary care patients at the Mayo Clinic. Patients in Phase I received standard care. Patients in Phase II received the intervention reconciliation process, which consisted of (1) mailed letters before appointments to remind patients to bring medication bottles or updated medication lists to their visits, (2) verification, and (3) correction of the medication list in the electronic medical record by the patient, and academic detailing and weekly audit and feedback of performance.

Results: Interventions resulted in a decrease in prescription medication errors from 88.9% of the visits in Phase 1 to 66% of the visits in Phase II (p = .005) and from 98.2% of the visits in Phase I to 84% of the visits in Phase II (p = .0134) when all medications were considered. The average number of discrepancies per patient decreased by more than 50% from 5.24 in Phase I to 2.46 in Phase II. The majority of discrepancies were minor.

Discussion: A multifaceted intervention including various members of the health care provider team (and the patient) is crucial to enhancing medication reconciliation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / standards*
  • Drug Utilization Review*
  • Female
  • Group Practice / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Total Quality Management / methods*