Study objective: Medication history is an essential part of patient assessment in emergency care. Patient-reported medication history can be incomplete. We study whether an electronic pharmacy-sourced prescription record can supplement the patient-reported history.
Methods: In a community hospital, we compared the patient-reported history obtained by triage nurses to a proprietary electronic pharmacy record in all emergency department (ED) patients during 3 months.
Results: Of 9,426 triaged patients, 5,001 (53%) had at least 1 (mean 7.7) prescription medication in the full-year electronic pharmacy record. Counting only recent prescription medications (supply lasting to at least 7 days before the ED visit), 3,688 patients (39%) had at least 1 (mean 4.0) recent medication. After adjustment for possible false-positive results, recent electronic prescription medication record enriched the patient-reported history by 28% (adding 1.1 drugs per patient). However, only 60% of patients with any active prescription medications from either source had any recent prescription medications in their electronic pharmacy record.
Conclusion: The electronic pharmacy prescription record augments the manually collected history.
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