Second Opinion: What is medication reconciliation and is it important?

Medication reconciliation should happen each time you have a health care visit. It is the process of identifying the most accurate list of all your medications including their names, dosages, frequency and route of administration. It is a reconciliation of what you think you’re taking and what your physician or health care facility thinks you’re taking.

Sounds simple, right? I wish it were so. “Med Rec,” as physicians call it, is an important starting point from which all medical care is delivered. Providing your doctor with specific and accurate information regarding what you’re taking is important and requires teamwork.

So what are you to do? My recommendation is that you bring “ALL” of your medication bottles with you when you seek medical care any place, any time. The bottles tell your physician which medicines you’re taking, how they were prescribed, who prescribed them, when they were prescribed, how many refills were granted, and where they were filled. And if you bring all of your bottles, including the nonprescription ones, your medical provider will be well informed. That’s the best place to start.

Ralph Robertson, MD
Medical Director of
Lackey Free Clinic