American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

View all recommendations from this society

June 1, 2017; updated July 28, 2021

Do not continue medications based solely on the medication or dispensing history unless the history has been verified with the patient by a medication use expert (e.g., a pharmacist) and the need for continued therapy has been established.

The patient or caregiver should be the primary source of truth, with medical records and pharmacy refill information as secondary sources, when taking the medication history. The patient or caregiver should be interviewed by someone with medication-use expertise, ideally a pharmacist, and medications should be continued only if there is an associated active medical indication. If a pharmacist is not available, then at a minimum, the healthcare worker taking the history should have access to robust drug information resources. The history should include the drug name, dose, units, frequency, and the last dose taken, and indication. A medication-use expert should lead medication reconciliation processes during high-risk transitions of care to assure correct and optimal therapy for the patient.

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.


ASHP statement on the role of the pharmacist in medication reconciliation [Internet]. Available from:

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.

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

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: