American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

View all recommendations from this society

June 1, 2017

Do not prescribe patients medications at discharge that they were on prior to admission without verifying that these medications are still needed and that the discharge medications will not result in duplication, drug interactions, or adverse events.

Treatments and procedures during a hospitalization may impact a patient’s ongoing need for a medication they were receiving prior to admission. Care should be taken at discharge to consider each medication taken prior to hospitalization in light of the patient’s current state. Unnecessary medications should be discontinued, duplicate or overlapping therapies should be changed, and the specific changes should be clearly communicated to the patient. The Joint Commission recommends a thorough medication review at admission and discharge to prevent any unnecessary medications being continued.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

A task force made up of pharmacists from all practice settings was formed. The task force was oriented to the criteria used to establish Choosing Wisely lists and already established recommendations. Based on this information and on their knowledge of how medications are prescribed, dispensed, and administered, the task force developed an initial list of recommendations. Over time this list was vetted, evaluated, researched, and referenced. Through a consensus process over time the list was prioritized down to a total of five recommendations. This list was approved by the ASHP Board of Directors.


Varkey, P, et al. Multidisciplinary approach to inpatient medication reconciliation in an academic setting. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2007; 64:850-5.

Najafzadeh M, et al. Economic value of pharmacist-led medication reconciliation for reducing medication errors after hospital discharge. Am J Manag Care 2016; 22:654-61.

Lehnbom, EC, et al. Impact of medication reconciliation and review on clinical outcomes. Ann Pharmacother. 2014; 48:1298-1312.

The Joint Commission. 2017 National Patient Safety Goals [Internet; cited 2017 Jan 21]. Available from: