Huge Discrepancies in Recorded vs. Actual Medication Use in Outpatient Setting

An extensive study reported in Archives of Internal Medicine (24 July 2000) found a 76% discrepancy rate of recorded vs. actual medication use in over 300 patients studied. Of these discrepancies, 51% were due to patients taking medications not recorded (with OTC meds accounting for the single largest category). Further, 29% of the discrepancies were due to patients not taking a recorded medication. The authors recommend regular, “compulsive, specific and systematic” review of patients' medications (Rx, OTC and herbal supplements), and improved communication between primary care physicians and subspecialists, to positively impact patient care and long-term outcomes.