Accuracy of patient self-administered medication history forms in the emergency department

Angela Wai, Martina Salib, Sohileh Aran, James Edwards, Asad E. Patanwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to determine the proportion of patients with medication discrepancies when using a self-administered medication history form in the emergency department (ED). The secondary objectives were to identify predictors of medication discrepancies and determine the proportion of patients with a high-risk medication discrepancy. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in an urban ED in Australia. Patients completed a self-administered medication history form while waiting to be seen by a physician. Subsequently, a best possible medication history was taken by a pharmacist to determine accuracy of the self-reported medication lists for patients with planned admissions. Discrepancies between the two medication lists were reported descriptively. A Poisson regression analysis was conducted to identify predictors of the rate of discrepancies. Associations were reported as incident rate ratios (IRR). Results: A total of 138 patients were included in the study. The total number of discrepancies was as follows: 0 (25%, n = 34), 1 (34%, n = 47), 2 (11%, n = 15), and ≥3 (30%, n = 42). The number of medications (IRR 1.11, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.14, p < 0.001), female (IRR 1.51, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.92, p = 0.001), and missing community pharmacy information (IRR 2.10, 95% CI 1.64 to 2.68, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with rate of discrepancies. Overall, 20% (n = 28) of patients had one or more high-risk medication discrepancies. Conclusion: Patient self-administered medication history forms have a high rate of discrepancies and should be verified by a best possible medication history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Emergency service hospital
  • Medication errors
  • Medication history taking
  • Medication reconciliation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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