medication discrepancy, medication error, medication reconciliation, medication safety, patient adherence, patient safety



  1. Murphy, Catherine R. MN, RN
  2. Corbett, Cynthia L. PhD, RN
  3. Setter, Stephen M. PharmD
  4. Dupler, Alice ARNP, JD


Medication discrepancy is a concept often used in discussions about medication safety but has neither been fully explained nor clearly defined in the literature. This article explores medication discrepancy as it relates to patient safety and population health in the management of medications. Literature review reveals 2 main aspects of discrepancies in medication management; prescribing issues and patient adherence to regimens. Further development of the concept of medication discrepancy can be beneficial to the theorist, researcher, or clinician. Conceptual clarity about the various aspects of medication discrepancy in the context of patient safety has the potential to enhance quality improvement efforts and patient outcomes to improve population health.