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Medication reconciliation standard operating protocols (SOPs)

The medication reconciliation SOP addresses the prevention of medication errors resulting from incomplete or miscommunicated information at points of transition during patient care.

SOP process

The SOP uses a systematic process to obtain a best possible medication history (BPMH), which is an accurate and complete list of all medications taken before admission to hospital.

The process aligns with current Australian policy and practice (SHPA Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacy Services Chapter 1: Medication reconciliation).

History of medication reconciliation SOP

Selected health services in Australia implemented the SOP and evaluated improvements over five years from January 2010. The SOP:

  • Improved the quality of medication histories obtained
  • Improved resolution of medication discrepancies
  • Raised awareness about medication safety
  • Was effective in minimising potential medication errors when older patients were admitted to hospital.

WHO High 5's Project

The Commission held a High 5s medication reconciliation seminar in 2014.

The High 5s Project Assuring Medication Accuracy at Transitions of Care – Australian Interim Report January 2010 (March 2013) (PDF 1MB) summarises the results of the first three years of the Australian arm of the WHO High 5s Project. The Australian report supplements the World Health Organization High 5s Project Interim Report.

For further information, see the WHO Patient Safety program.

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