Utility of an Algorithm to Increase the Accuracy of Medication History in an Obstetrical Setting

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 21;11(3):e0151205. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151205. eCollection 2016.


Background: In an obstetrical setting, inaccurate medication histories at hospital admission may result in failure to identify potentially harmful treatments for patients and/or their fetus(es).

Methods: This prospective study was conducted to assess average concordance rates between (1) a medication list obtained with a one-page structured medication history algorithm developed for the obstetrical setting and (2) the medication list reported in medical records and obtained by open-ended questions based on standard procedures. Both lists were converted into concordance rate using a best possible medication history approach as the reference (information obtained by patients, prescribers and community pharmacists' interviews).

Results: The algorithm-based method obtained a higher average concordance rate than the standard method, with respectively 90.2% [CI95% 85.8-94.3] versus 24.6% [CI95%15.3-34.4] concordance rates (p<0.01).

Conclusion: Our algorithm-based method strongly enhanced the accuracy of the medication history in our obstetric population, without using substantial resources. Its implementation is an effective first step to the medication reconciliation process, which has been recognized as a very important component of patients' drug safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Obstetrics*

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.