Medication Reconciliation at Women’s College Hospital

By Karen Ng and Natalie Benninger

Medication Reconciliation is a formal process conducted in partnership with patients and families to consistently communicate accurate and comprehensive medication information where medication management is a major component of ambulatory care visits. This is an essential  Required Organizational Practice (ROP) of Accreditation Canada that enhances patient safety, reduces avoidable adverse drug events and eliminate discrepancies in patient medication information during transitions in care.   Medication Reconciliation is a shared responsibility that involves multiple health care providers as well as the patient and care partners.

Women’s College Hospital (WCH) promotes the best medication practices through adoption of the Medication Reconciliation process where appropriate. An Inter-professional Medication Reconciliation Advisory Group spearheads the strategic direction of medication reconciliation practice across the organization.  This group provides oversight in the planning, implementation, education, and evaluation of medication reconciliation across select ambulatory clinical areas.  Medication Reconciliation will be rolled out gradually across clinics at WCH.  Efforts will be focused on high-risk patient populations at risk of potential adverse drug events in clinics where medication management is a major component of care.  Currently, Medication Reconciliation has been rolled out in the Surgery, AACU and TAPMI programs, with plans for further implementation to other clinics in the near future. Click here for the Q-Tip.

Strategies for completing medication reconciliation at WCH include:

  • Defining roles and responsibilities for the clinical staff involved in medication reconciliation.
  • Establishing interdisciplinary collaboration and commitment to the process. 
  • Identifying which high-risk patient populations meet the criteria for medication reconciliation within specific clinics
  • Creating and documenting a Best Possible Medication History (BPMH) in the standardized format within WCH’s electronic patient record (aEPR) i.e., Epic and PSS.
  • Communicating the complete BPMH to the patient and their next care provider.
  • Providing education to staff, patients, families, and caregivers on the importance of medication reconciliation and their role in the process.
  • Assessing adherence to the process and identifying the potential for and any actual harm associated with unreconciled medications.
  • Aligning medication reconciliation with the hospital’s quality improvement infrastructure, committees (i.e., medication safety committee, patient safety committee) and other strategic goals and/or initiatives.

Medication Reconciliation is a standard systems approach that enhances quality and patient safety and improves continuity of medication management. 

Learn more by reviewing the Medication Reconciliation Hospital-wide policy document.

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