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To make the best clinical decisions, providers need all the information they can get. But getting a patient's medication information without a health IT tool like Medication History for Reconciliation can not only be difficult, but it can often return incomplete results.

In a recent MGMA podcast episode, Surescripts' Andrew Borgschulte, principal product marketing manager, and Rachel Petersen, product innovation manager, talked about what medication reconciliation looks like in a culture of interoperability.

But before listening to the podcast episode, test your knowledge with a quick quiz about medication reconciliation.

Medication Reconciliation Quiz

  1. True or False: Specialists automatically share health data with their patient's primary care provider.

    False. Patients are becoming hypermobile and seeking care at more and more places. That doesn't always mean that they're driving across the country; it can often just be in a small geographic area. In most insurance plans, you don't need a referral, so anyone can sign up to see a specialist. But because of that, a primary care provider may not have visibility into those visits and into the potential medications they are prescribed. This breakdown is especially of concern for patients who have risk-based contracts or are under some other value-based care agreement. It's crucial to understand what medications these patients are on and if they're adhering to medications so that they can complete their treatment.

  2. True or False: Using claims data to get medication history is sufficient.

    False. Though claims data can paint a picture of medication history, it can be incomplete for numerous reasons. For example, patients can use cash to purchase their medication and not file an insurance claim. Paying with cash could become more common as pharmacies expand their generic cash pay programs, and numerous couponing programs and mobile apps incentivize patients to use cash for at least their initial pickup dose.

    When this happens, prescribers are in a blind spot and at risk of prescribing a medication that might lead to an adverse drug event. But if prescribers use Medication History for Reconciliation, they gain real-time access to the largest set of medication claims and pharmacy fill data available, delivering a more complete picture of patients from admissions to discharge.

  3. True or False: More data is always better.

    False. While comprehensive data is important, making sure that the data is clean is also critical. Comprehensive records can add time if you have duplication. If a patient fills a prescription at a pharmacy with their insurance company, two records will often be returned in the medication history. Surescripts electronic medication reconciliation solution delivers the provider's most comprehensive and up-to-date information through a single connection, including deduplicated claim and fill records. This way, Surescripts is helping to drive clinical decisions in the best way possible.

  4. True or False: Medication History regularly identifies additional medications.

    True. Surescripts performed a study about the effects of health systems or hospitals adopting electronic medication history. The study found that, on average, providers identified 2.4 additional medications using Medication History versus manual methods. As Borgschulte explains on the podcast, it's a lot easier to start with a list of electronic medications and confirm that with the patients. "Using Medication History turns the conversation about what medications a patient is on from an investigation into a validation," he explained. And validation is often quicker than an investigation. Another study found that electronic medication histories saved approximately 20 minutes per patient.

Listen to the episode or learn more about our Medication History solutions and how they give a more complete and accurate electronic picture of patients' medication history – leading to better informed, more efficient and safer care decisions.

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