Evaluation of an electronic module for reconciling medications in home health plans of care

Heidi S. Kramer, Bryan Gibson, Yarden Livnat, Iona Thraen, Abraham A. Brody, Randall Rupper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Transitions in patient care pose an increased risk to patient safety. One way to reduce this risk is to ensure accurate medication reconciliation during the transition. Here we present an evaluation of an electronic medication reconciliation module we developed to reduce the transition risk in patients referred for home healthcare. Methods: Nineteen physicians with experience in managing home health referrals were recruited to participate in this within-subjects experiment. Participants completed medication reconciliation for three clinical cases in each of two conditions. The first condition (paper-based) simulated current practice – reconciling medication discrepancies between a paper plan of care (CMS 485) and a simulated Electronic Health Record (EHR). For the second condition (electronic) participants used our medication reconciliation module, which we integrated into the simulated EHR. To evaluate the effectiveness of our medication reconciliation module, we employed repeated measures ANOVA to test the hypotheses that the module will: 1) Improve accuracy by reducing the number of unaddressed medication discrepancies, 2) Improve efficiency by reducing the reconciliation time, 3) have good perceived usability. Results: The improved accuracy hypothesis is supported. Participants left more discrepancies unaddressed in the paper-based condition than the electronic condition, F (1,1) = 22.3, p < 0.0001 (Paper Mean = 1.55, SD = 1.20; Electronic Mean = 0.45, SD = 0.65). However, contrary to our efficiency hypothesis, participants took the same amount of time to complete cases in the two conditions, F (1, 1) =0.007, p = 0.93 (Paper Mean = 258.7 seconds, SD = 124.4; Electronic Mean = 260.4 seconds, SD = 158.9). The usability hypothesis is supported by a composite mean ability and confidence score of 6.41 on a 7-point scale, 17 of 19 participants preferring the electronic system and an SUS rating of 86.5. Conclusion: We present the evaluation of an electronic medication reconciliation module that increases detection and resolution of medication discrepancies compared to a paper-based process. Further work to integrate medication reconciliation within an electronic medical record is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-424
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Clinical Informatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 25 2016


  • Electronic medical records
  • Home health agency referrals
  • Medical transition care
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management


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