Medication reconciliation to improve patient safety

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 10, December 2012, Page 519 News

Medication reconciliation (MedRec) is a formal process in which health care providers work together with patients, families, and care providers to ensure accurate and comprehensive medication information is communicated consistently across transitions of care.[1]

MedRec is recognized by the WHO, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, and Safer Healthcare Now! as an essential process for ensuring safe, accurate prescribing in any setting.[1

The goal of MedRec is to prevent unintended changes to medications and improve communication regarding medications at transitions of care. Over half of medication errors occur at the interfaces of care.[2] Research has shown that approximately 50% of pa­tients had at least one unintentional dis­crepancy on admission; 6% of uninten­tional discrepancies will cause harm.[3]

Vancouver Acute and Community services are currently implementing MedRec processes. As part of this process you may receive a copy of the MedRec record for informational purposes only.
—Sara Gilbert 
Project Manager, Vancouver Acute & Community, VCH Vancouver MedRec Project


1.    Safer Healthcare Now! Getting Started Kit. Version 3. Accessed 30 October 2012.
2.    Rozich JD, Reser RK. Medication safety: One organization’s approach to the challenge. J Clin Outcomes Manage 2001;8:27-34.
3.    Cornish PL, Knowles SR, Marchesano R, et al. Unintended medication discrepancies at the time of hospital admission. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:424-429.

Sara Gilbert,. Medication reconciliation to improve patient safety. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 10, December, 2012, Page(s) 519 - News.

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