Patients Eager to Provide Feedback on EHR Medication Reconciliation Practices, Study Finds

Patients who were given access to their medication lists in their electronic health records (EHRs) were eager to give physicians feedback—which helped prevent harmful interactions—a recent study found.

Researchers from the University of Chicago, Geisinger Health System, and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst set out to determine if patients can improve their medical records’ accuracy if effectively engaged using a networked personal health record (PHR) and if patient feedback can improve the accuracy of their health record.

According to the study, which was published recently in Generating Evidence & Method to improve patient outcomes (eGEMS), study participants, who were already users of Geisinger’s patient portal, provided feedback to researchers via semi-structured interviews with physicians and pharmacists, focus groups, and quantitative analysis of patient feedback data and pharmacists’ medication reconciliation logs.

Researchers noted that patients requested changes to the shared medication lists in 89 percent of the cases. What’s more, according to the study, in a sub-sample of 107 patient feedback forms, pharmacists responded positively to 68 percent of patient requests for medication list changes.

A few participants noted that access to the medication list portion of their EHR also helped avoid potentially harmful medication reactions. One patient quoted in the findings said: “I had surgery and started taking B-12 vitamins. I reported this on the form. I received a follow up phone call from a provider to stop taking the vitamins to prevent overdose since I was already receiving B-12 injections.”

Patients also responded that they would like to provide feedback on other aspects of the medical record, including immunizations, medical history, allergies, and information from procedures performed by physicians outside of the Geisinger system.

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