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Can J Hosp Pharm. 2011 Jan;64(1):10-5.

Completeness of information sources used to prepare best possible medication histories for pediatric patients.

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, BScPharm, ACPR, PharmD, is the Pharmacy Clinical Practice Leader, Pediatrics and Neonatology, Alberta Health Services-South, Calgary, Alberta.



Medication reconciliation can reduce medication errors and mortality. With limited availability of clinical pharmacists, it is important to determine the resources that will yield the most complete information about a patient's medication history.


To identify the most time-efficient sources of information about medication history for use by clinicians in a pediatric care setting.


In July and August 2009, newly admitted pediatric patients (under 18 years of age) were identified, and a best possible medication history (BPMH) was compiled from the admission history in each patient's chart, a provincial prescription database, a community pharmacy record, and an "informed interview". Each individual source of information was compared with the BPMH and given a completeness score based on 3 pieces of information about each medication (name, dose, and frequency).


Data were collected for 99 pediatric patients. Of these, 76 (77%) were taking at least one medication, and 49 (50%) were taking at least one prescription medication. Among patients who were taking at least one medication, the informed interview, based on background information from other sources, resulted in the most comprehensive medication history, with a median completeness score of 100% (interquartile range [IQR] 90% to 100%). The admission history had a median completeness score of 33% (IQR 4% to 56%), with documentation of dose and frequency lacking most frequently. Information from community pharmacies had a median completeness score of 67% (IQR 42% to 87%), but this source was available for only 24 of the 99 patients. The prescription database was the least complete source, with a median completeness score of 0% (IQR 0% to 37%).


An informed interview by a trained professional resulted in the most complete medication history. Admission histories represented the next most complete source. The data from this study indicated a need for education on the performance of medication reconciliation that would emphasize the use of all available background information, documentation of dose and frequency for each medication, and inclusion of both over-the-counter and herbal products.


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