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Medication Reconciliation

What is medication reconciliation?

Medication reconciliation is the important process of comparing a patient's medication orders to all medications they have been taking. This helps avoid medication errors, such as omissions or duplications in doses. It can also help prevent interactions between different drugs.

Medication reconciliation starts with the list of current medications the patient should take according to their records. The healthcare provider will then check to see what the patient takes when they come in for their appointment.

They will also ask about any medication changes, such as new drugs or dosages, and ensure these changes are reflected in the patient's records. Medication reconciliation is a crucial step in ensuring that patients receive the correct medications and dosages, and it can help prevent harmful drug interactions.

Why is medication reconciliation important to healthcare?

To make an accurate diagnosis, it is essential to consider all potential causes of a patient's symptoms. This includes taking into account any medications the patient is taking because drug interactions can sometimes mimic or mask the symptoms of a condition. For example, a patient taking a heart medication may present with fatigue and shortness of breath, which could be attributed to the heart condition or the medication itself.

Similarly, a patient on psychiatric medication may exhibit changes in mood or behavior that are side effects of the medication. Therefore, getting a complete list of all medications from the patient is essential to avoid making an incorrect diagnosis.

By taking medication reconciliation into account, doctors can help to ensure that their patients receive the most effective and safe treatment possible.