What is medication reconciliation and why is it important?
Your safety is important to us at Health Sciences North. An important part of keeping you safe is knowing what medicine you use at home. You can help us by bringing a list of your medicine (or the medicine containers) with you whenever you come to the hospital or to one of our clinics for care.
Having this information with you helps us do something called medication reconciliation (or med rec). Medication reconciliation is when health care workers spend time with you and your caregivers to go over your medicine with you to make sure what you are taking is correct. This is an important part of patient safety.
How you can help!
You can make a medication list by writing down all your medicine and non-prescribed medicines. You can carry this list in your wallet or purse. You must list all medicine from all doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacies if you have more than one. Your pharmacy can also give you a list.
Remember that injections, drops, creams and even vitamins and herbs need to be on your list. You can add them to the list your pharmacy gives you. Your list must have your medicine name written, the amount (strength) you use of each medicine, and how often you take them. Health care workers including doctors will ask you questions about your list.
You can help by:
- Bringing your list of medicines to the hospital or put all of your medicine in a bag or container and bring these with you.
- Write down the name of your pharmacy and your nurse practitioner or doctor’s name. List all the names if you have more than one.
- Talk to your health care team about new and old medications or, if you are not able to, make sure a family member or friend has this information.
- Write down changes to your medicine on your list.
- Ask for a “MedsCheck” at your community pharmacy – information about this can be found by clicking here.
Making a medication list
- Here is a form to help you get started on your medication list: My Medication List
- Or use this simple online wallet card.
- You can also use the “MyMedRec” App which can be added to your mobile device from anywhere you usually download apps or can be accessed here.
What should be on my medication list?
- Allergies (Medications, Food, and Environmental) and Reactions
- Prescription Medications (such as antibiotics, blood pressure pills, water pills)
- Non-Prescription Medication (such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol ®), Aspirin)
- Vitamins and Minerals (such as a Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium)
- Herbal Medications (such as St. John’s Wort, Echinacea)
- Supplements (such as Glucosamine, Coenzyme Q10)
- How You Take Your Medicine (strength of medicine and when you take it)
- Eye/ear drops
- Inhalers or nasal sprays
- Medicated patches or creams
- Injectable medications (such as Insulin)
- Medication samples from your healthcare provider
Medicine should always be stored out of sight and out of reach of children. The best place is easy for you but does not cause accidental intake by anyone else, especially children.
Patients and caregivers may need to get rid of prescription and non-prescription medicine. To help make sure the medicine is not used incorrectly or hurt the environment it is best to take them to a community pharmacy for proper disposal.
5 Questions to Ask - ISMP Canada, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Canadian Pharmacist’s Association
MedsCheck - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
For more information about how other organizations across Canada are working to keep patients safe:
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Knowledge is The Best Medicine