MedRec program, materials rolling out across province

March 4, 2014

AHS is part way through a four year implementation plan to have MedRec processes in all AHS care settings by the end of 2015. They are taking a phased approach, beginning with MedRec at admission and expanding to include MedRec at transfer and discharge. The goal is to incorporate MedRec processes into everyday practice to enhance patient safety.

AHS is now launching an awareness campaign for both healthcare providers and public audiences. The campaign will be launched in stages. Starter packages of the public awareness materials will be sent to all community pharmacies and doctor’s offices in the province.

Every Albertan with health issues typically interacts with multiple healthcare providers, and each provider may have some, but not all, of the information about the medications the person is taking. Medication-related decisions still need to be made, and medication advice is still required, with whatever information is available. Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) works to address these gaps. This is the motivation driving the implementation of MedRec processes throughout Alberta Health Services (AHS).

MedRec is a structured process in which healthcare providers work together with patients, families and caregivers to ensure accurate and comprehensive medication information is communicated consistently across transitions of care. The use of MedRec can reduce medication errors and adverse events.1, 2, 3

To be of most benefit, MedRec should occur in all settings, including primary care and in healthcare facilities. Pharmacists are well positioned to take an active and leading role in helping patients understand their medications and the patient’s role in maintaining an up-to-date list of their medications.2 The MedRec process supports the pharmacists’ role in patient safety by ensuring the availability of complete and accurate information.

The public awareness campaign instils in each patient the sense of shared ownership for their medication information during healthcare interactions. The MedRec provider and public awareness campaign was developed through extensive consultations with key stakeholders both within and external to AHS, including the Health Quality Council of Alberta. The MedRec awareness campaign will be ongoing and will sustain promotion of MedRec in the long term.

Please let AHS know if you would like to receive any of the AHS provider and public awareness materials by emailing medrec@albertahealthservices.ca. To have a look for yourself please go to: www.albertahealthservices.ca/medlist 

1. Boockvar, K., LaCorte, H., Giambanco, V., Fridman, B., & Siu, A. (2006). Medication reconciliation for reducing drug-discrepancy adverse events. The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, 4 (3), 236-243.

2. Murphy, E., Oxencis, C., Klauck, J., Meyer, D., & Zimmerman, J. (2009). Medication reconciliation at an academic medical center: Implementation of a comprehensive program from admission to discharge. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 66 (23), 2126-2131.

3. Pronovost, P., Weast, B., Schwarz, M., Wyskiel, R., Prow, D., Milanovich, S., et al. (2003). Medication Reconciliation: a practical tool to reduce the risk of medication errors. Journal of Critical Care, 18 (4), 201-205.


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