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What is Medication Reconciliation?
Medication reconciliation is part of patient safety. Patients should bring a complete and accurate list of medications they use at home, or bring all their medication vials to their hospital and doctor visits. You may be asked about your medications several times to make sure your medication list is correct. It is important to tell your healthcare team about all the medications you take, including:
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medications (i.e. Aspirin, Tylenol)
- Herbal and natural health products
- Alcohol and any other recreational drugs (i.e. marijuana, etc.)
If you need assistance, a family member or community pharmacist may help you. This is important information used to:
- Improve your quality of care.
- Ensure you get the correct medications during your hospital stay.
- Prevent errors from incorrect medication information.
Your Role in Medication Reconciliation
- Make sure to ask your doctor if they prefer you bring your updated medication list or all your medication vials to your next appointment.
- Ask your doctor, nurse and pharmacist about the management of your home medications while in the hospital.
- Tell your nurse if you think you missed a dose of a home medication.
- Consult one of your health care providers before taking any medications that you brought from home (including over-the-counter medications and herbal health products).
- Before you leave the hospital, make sure you understand why and how to take all new medications you started while in hospital.
- Use one pharmacy – this ensures that one pharmacy has all your medication information.
Medication Safety Once You Leave the Hospital
Be sure to:
- Bring your medication list or medication vials every time you go to the hospital or to a medical appointment after you leave HAHV (ask your doctor what he/she would prefer).
- Keep your medication list up-to-date.
- Show your medication list to your health care team, even if they don’t ask.
- Carry your list with you. Keep it in your purse or wallet, or put it in a baggie and hang it on your fridge.
- Tell your family or caregiver about your list and where to find it.
- After every appointment or hospital visit, ensure you get your list back from your healthcare team.