Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Medication reconciliation in the emergency department: opportunities for workflow redesign
  1. J Hummel,
  2. P C Evans,
  3. H Lee
  1. Qualis Health, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeff Hummel, Qualis Health, 10700 Meridian Avenue North, Suite 100, PO Box 33400, Seattle, WA 98133, USA; jeffh{at}


Aim To examine the role of workflow redesign to improve medication reconciliation at four Washington State community hospital emergency departments.

Method Lean redesign methodology was used for workflow process mapping and redesign workshops attended by emergency department staff. Observations were made about barriers to successful operation of current medication reconciliation workflows, and ideal future process maps were developed to improve the efficacy of creating a current, complete and accurate medication list for each patient seen in the emergency department.

Conclusion Ideas for an optimal workflow to generate a medication list include involving patients and utilising clerical staff to a greater extent in medication information gathering, identifying and flagging patients with missing medication information, and gathering only the medication information needed to make clinical decisions in the emergency department.

  • Medication safety
  • emergency department
  • process mapping

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This project was supported by the Washington State Life Science Discovery Fund to study the interaction between technology and workflow in improving the medication reconciliation process in hospital emergency departments.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Washington State Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.