Medication reconciliation at the time of hospital admission is sometimes easier said than done. A number of barriers may make this chore more difficult.

Regimen problems:

(1) large number of medications

(2) complex and/or nonstandard regimen

(3) handwritten or illegible list

(4) prescribed by multiple healthcare providers

(5) high risk medications


Patient problems:

(1) unconscious or unable to respond

(2) language or other communication barriers

(3) dementia, confusion or mental illness

(4) absence of family members or companions

(5) intoxicated

(6) need to mislead or deny

(7) poor adherence (looks like taking medicine but not)

(8) emergency admission

(9) unfamiliar and not educated about medications


Hospital problems:

(1) need to manually transcribe the drug list

(2) inability to confirm medications

(3) care by providers unfamiliar with the patient


Having a patietn's drugs recorded and organized prior to an admission can make the task of medication reconciliation much easier.

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