The Why, Who, and How of Medication Reconciliation
November 2008 - Vol. 5 No. 11


The vast majority of available literature attempts to convince the reader that medication reconciliation is indeed important to patient safety and the lack of an accurate process leads to medication errors, which is undeniably true. This is well known, thanks in part to the Institute of Medicine’s recent report and, of course, the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal. However, those involved in designing a program often fail to convey to the staff performing the reconciliation the “why” behind it. Without helping people understand how this will impact the care of their patients, there is little buy-in, which invariably results in failure or certainly mediocrity — both of which are unacceptable. A culture shift must occur that places the emphasis on safety and accuracy, and that culture shift cannot occur without strong leadership.

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