Computerized Medication Reconciliation

I have recently seen a need for medication reconciliation to be computerized. In my current hospital, the patient’s meds are documented individually on paper at each floor they are admitted to. Problems arise in this system when papers get lost, each floor uses different charting, nurses do not complete the form, etc. In short, the patient ends up either answering the same question regarding their home meds repeatedly, the nurse at each floor must searches for the med list or the family must bring in the home med list more than once to appease the admission paperwork required of each floor and nurse. I see a much easier answer to be to computerize the medication reconciliation forms. The computerized form could then be checked at each floor if needed for completion. We could also solve the problem of incomplete forms through this means. The program could be designed to ensure that the form must be complete, for example, using a symbol such as a red exclamation mark to notify the nurse at each shift if it is not completed. I see this as using informatics to eliminate problems and ensure patient safety in home medication reconciliation.

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