Article 2402: Avoid costly ER, hospital visits with medication review and reconciliation (imageid1)


Some people may rather do anything else than visit with their physician. So let’s make this better. When you do go to your doctor, however, you should be ready to make it as productive as possible. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by conducting a “medication review and reconciliation”.


A medication review and reconciliation is the process of creating the most accurate list of all possible medications a patient is taking, BOTH prescription and over the counter.


Medication information not only includes the name all drugs, but also the dosage and frequency. The list will be compared to your physician’s for accuracy. With this information, correct medications can be prescribed, avoiding potential adverse drug reactions and unnecessary visits to the hospital. We want to make sure you’re on the least amount, and safest, medications.


For older patients, this is a simple, yet critical, routine part of their checkups. More than 1 in 4 hospital stays for seniors – 28 percent – are due to medication-related issues.  It is among the top five greatest health threats to seniors. Nearly 100,000 emergency room hospitalizations annually occur due to adverse drug effects among people aged 65 and older, according to a 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control.


As the pharmaceutical industry makes strides in medications to improve health and manage chronic disease, seniors may be at risk of health complications that can occur from taking a mixture of medications. The Task Force on Aging Research Funding in 2009 found that seniors consume 40 percent of prescriptions and 35 percent of over-the-counter drugs. The average person aged 65 to 69 year old takes nearly 14 prescriptions annually; the average 80-84 year old takes 18 prescriptions per year!


Let’s work on this together. Your part is bringing in all your medications every visit. A big thanks!!

Contributed by

Dr. Christopher Rao

WellMed at South Stuart
Lead Physician
Dr. Christopher Rao, Board Certified in Family Medicine, is lead physician at WellMed at South Stuart in the Treasure Coast region of Florida. He is the author of “The Midlife …

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