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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use

Active Medication List


Maintain active medication list.


More than 80 percent of all unique patients seen by the eligible professional have at least one entry (or an indication that the patient is not currently prescribed any medication) recorded as structured data.

Clinical Importance

Along with an active problem list, having the electronic list of active medications helps streamline visits, allows for the most efficient use of your entire clinical staff, and makes on-call coverage safer and easier. Many practices develop a more comprehensive medication list by including OTCs, vitamins, herbals and nutritional supplements. Finally, having a patient's medications listed easily for their review on each visit increases effective communication with your patients helping transform and maintain your practice’s culture for patient-centered care.

CMS Resources

The following resources are available to help you meet the Active Medication List meaningful use core measure:

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons from the Field

"We follow a model where we engage the patients in their care by having them review their active medication lists during each visit."

Dr. Mary Landwehr, MD, Family Physician and Director, Sunrise Family Care Clinic

To ensure that a patient's active medications list is comprehensive and accurate, a nurse may print the patient's active medication list and provide it to the patient once they have been roomed for their review. Once the physician enters the room, he or she reviews the patient's changes to their active mediation list and can then adjust as necessary within the EHR system.

National Learning Consortium Resources

The NLC resources are examples of tools that are used in the field today, and that are recommended by “boots-on-the-ground” professionals. The NLC, in partnership with HealthIT.gov, shares this collective EHR implementation knowledge and resources throughout this site.

National Learning Consortium Resources
Resource NameDescriptionSource

How to Create an Accurate Medication List in the Outpatient Setting through a Patient-Centered Approach


Toolkit that provides information and guidance for implementing a patient-centered approach in the outpatient setting focused on medication safety.

Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), Aurora Health Care

Medication Safety Reconciliation Toolkit


[PDF - 4Mb] 

Toolkit that provides extensive detail on where and how to reconcile medications at all transition points of care; how to implement a medication reconciliation process; and provides sample process maps, algorithms, and forms.

North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety (NC Quality Center)

Medication Discrepancy Tool (MDT)



Tool for identifying and characterizing medication discrepancies that arise when patients are making the transition between sites of care.

The Care Transitions Program, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine

The material in these guides and tools represents the collective EHR implementation experiences and knowledge gained directly from the field of ONC’s outreach programs (REC, Beacon, State HIE) and through the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) Communities of Practice (CoPs) in their performance of technical support and EHR implementation assistance to primary care providers. The information contained in these resources is not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The resource list is not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional detailed technical guidance to supplement the information contained herein.

Reference in this web site to any specific resources, tools, products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

For additional questions around meaningful use, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


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