Background: Transfer of medication information during transitions in care is crucial to preventing medication errors. Few studies evaluate patients' self-reported personal medication lists.
Objectives: To assess completeness of personal medication lists and identify factors associated with incomplete personal lists and discrepancies between personal and clinic medication lists.
Methods: We analyzed patients' personal medication lists at an academic hospital preoperative clinic from January 2010 to October 2010. Completeness of personal medication lists was measured as reporting the name, dose, and frequency for all prescription and nonprescription medications or dietary supplements. Discrepancies between personal and clinic medication lists were measured as omitted medications or differing directions.
Results: Among 94 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 82 (87%) personal medication lists were evaluated. Most personal lists were incomplete (56%; 46/82), missing information for at least one medication reported; 94% (77/82) of personal lists had at least one discrepancy with clinic medication lists (median 4 discrepancies per patient list). On multivariate analyses, taking 10 or more medications (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.52; 95% CI = 1.37 to 9.08) and being divorced, widowed, or single (adjusted OR = 3.10; 95% CI = 1.05 to 9.12) were independent predictors of incomplete personal medication lists. Taking 10 or more medications (adjusted OR = 3.44; 95% CI = 1.35 to 8.78) was also associated with higher rates of medication discrepancies.
Conclusions: Patients' self-reported personal medication lists are often incomplete and have discrepancies with clinic medication lists. Interventions are needed to improve medication information transfer between patients, providers and healthcare systems.
Keywords: medication errors; medication reconciliation; medication safety; patient education; patient safety; personal medication record.