Study: Over Half of EHR Medication Lists Are Incomplete

Study: Over Half of EHR Medication Lists Are Incomplete

More than half of people whose blood was tested were found to have concentrations of prescription and/or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that were not listed in their electronic health record (EHR) medication list, according to a recent study.

In the research that was published in JAMA Network Open, investigators developed a blood test that could identify 263 medications—both OTC and prescription drugs. They then collected samples from a total of 1,346 patients at three different medical centers.

They discovered that 78 percent to 100 percent of medications were detected as prescribed in the EHR medication list, according to the study. In addition, medications not included in EHR medication lists were detected and were more frequently associated with alerts for potential adverse drug reactions, the authors note.

The anxiety medication diazepam and opiates were among the most common medications that were detected despite lack of evidence for an associated prescription, which investigators concluded is because they have a higher tendency for abuse. Medications targeting cardiac conditions were also commonly detected without prescriptions having been noted in their charts.

“More important, a disproportionate number of potentially interacting medications were noted among patients without evidence of a prescription, suggesting that healthcare professionals may be prescribing and making clinical care decisions with incomplete information,” the authors wrote.

Click here to read the full report.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.