What Is Medication Reconciliation vs. Medication Review

caretaker and elderly lady using medication reconciliation between two optionsMedication reconciliation reconciles discrepancies between medications recorded in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and those dispensed to the patient. Medication reconciliation aims to ensure that patients take the correct doses of their medications and that any required adjustments have been made to their therapy.

It can be used as an early warning system for potential drug interactions or adverse effects and help identify potentially unnecessary medication use. Incorrect doses of medications can lead to serious side effects, and incorrect therapy can cause patients to miss necessary appointments or hospitalizations.

What is a Medication Review?

Medication review is a formal process used by healthcare clinicians to assess the need for and appropriateness of medications. It involves reviewing all current medications being taken by a patient and making any necessary changes. It helps ensure that the patient is taking only those drugs needed for their medical condition and that there are no unnecessary side effects associated with the drugs being taken.

What is Medication Reconciliation?

The process of medication reconciliation is reconciling a patient’s medication history with their current medications. It can be done manually or through an electronic medical records system. Reconciling a patient’s medication history allows for more accurate dosing and better management of medications. It also helps prevent potential interactions between drugs the patient may be taking.

Healthcare clinicians will review the patient’s medication history and determine which drugs should be moved to which dosages. It can be time-consuming and require expertise in pharmacology. Electronic systems may automate some of this process but need someone with knowledge about medications to input accurate information into the system.

Reasons for Reconciliation and Review

There are several reasons why a medication review may be required. For example, if a new medication has been prescribed but not yet started or if an existing medication has been changed or discontinued.

Medication reviews may be necessary if a patient develops an unusual side effect or if their current medications are no longer effective. Medications can often be changed without the need for a doctor’s visit. If changes are needed, however, it is essential to speak with their healthcare professional clinicians to ensure that the change is made appropriately and that there are no additional risks associated with making these changes.

Medication reconciliation has many benefits for patients and their caregivers. It helps prevent potential drug interactions, reduces errors, and ensures patient safety when taking the correct medications at the proper doses.

nurse speaking with a doctor

What Is The Difference?

Medication reconciliation is reviewing all patients’ medications and reconciling discrepancies between what was prescribed and what the patient took. It can also help patients get the most effective relief possible for their medical condition.

On the other hand, medication review is a more general term used to describe different reviews that physicians may conduct when prescribing medications to patients. These reviews might include checking drug dosages against actual doses taken by patients. Additionally, reviews may check for potential side effects and interactions that could occur while patients take their medications.

How To Prepare

When taking medications, it is essential to track when and how much they take. Remembering everything that happened during the day can be challenging, so creating a medication reconciliation process is helpful. The reconciliation should include a timeline of what happened during the day and notes on how much medication was taken and when. The timeline can also list who took which medications, where they were taken, and when they were given.

The plan should include specific instructions to ensure that everyone involved in the patient’s care knows about the medication orders and their doses. The reconciliation plan can also include instructions on what should happen if someone notices an incorrect amount or if there are any changes in a patient’s medication adherence.

It is vital to keep all of this information in one place so that it is easy to track down if there are any questions or problems with the medication reconciliation. Having a written reconciliation plan will help ensure that everyone involved with taking medications knows what needs to be done for them to stay safe and healthy.

1. Current/Existing Medications

There are a few critical steps to reviewing medications. First, gathering all the information you can about their prescribed and home medications, including their name, manufacturer, and dosage, is essential. Next, review the side effects on the medication list and consider whether any of them are troubling. Finally, weigh each potential benefit and drawback of taking each medication.

2. Newly Prescribed Medications

When a person first receives new medications, they should take them as prescribed by their doctor. After taking the medication for several days, they can begin reviewing the information on the package insert.

They should also contact their doctor if they experience any side effects from the new drug. If a person does not experience any side effects from the new drug, they can begin to review how the medication works. They should also discuss any concerns they have with their doctor about taking the medication.

3. List Comparison

When taking medication, it is essential to compare the old list of medications with the new medications. The first step is to identify all the medications being taken. Next, list each medication’s information and drug name on paper.

Finally, compare this information with what was prescribed by the doctor. If there are any discrepancies between what was prescribed and what they currently have in their possession, be sure to bring this up with their doctor so that they can adjust the medication accordingly

4. Making Decisions

The best way to decide which prescriptions to continue taking depends on the individual’s specific health needs and preferences. However, some tips on choosing which prescriptions to continue taking include: evaluating their overall health status.

If they are feeling generally better and there have been no significant changes in symptoms or adverse drug events since they last checked in with their doctor or health care providers, it may be safe to keep taking most current medications without adjusting dosage or frequency.

If there have been changes in their health status or they are experiencing new symptoms that were not present, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage or frequency of some medications. Sometimes, switching to a different medication may also be required. It is crucial to work with their health care providers and/or doctor to help identify which prescriptions should continue and which need adjustment.

5. Communication

When a patient takes medication as prescribed, it’s essential to communicate with their doctor about the prescription. It allows both parties to ensure that the patient gets the best possible level of care and takes the correct medication dosage. It can also help ensure that any side effects from medications are appropriately monitored.

If a patient isn’t taking their medication as prescribed, it can lead to negative consequences such as an increased risk of infection, an overdose, or a lengthy hospital stay. It’s essential for patients and their doctors to work together to ensure that everyone is getting the best possible patient care.

When To Reevaluate Medications

doctor advising a patientThere are high-risk medications that should be reevaluated on an individual basis. Some people may experience adverse side effects from these medications, while others may not. It is crucial to speak with a doctor or pharmacy about the best way to manage any medical condition and potential side effects related to medication use.

It is also essential to be aware of the medications that may interact with one another. For example, some medications can increase the effects of other medications, while others can have adverse side effects when taken together. Before taking any medication, speaking with a doctor or pharmacy about all potential interactions is crucial.

BioScan can help identify potential side effects that may be occurring while a person is taking their medications. By understanding these issues, doctors and pharmacists can make more informed decisions about whether or not to continue prescribing certain medications. Additionally, this information can be used in the medication reconciliation process, which helps with patient compliance.


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