Best Possible Medication History

A Best Possible Medication History (BPMH) is an accurate and complete list (or as close as possible) of medicines the patient is currently taking. The BPMH also includes information relating to medicine allergies and adverse drug reactions.

It is a crucial foundation (first two steps) in medication reconciliation.


Why is a BPMH important?

Obtaining a BPMH assists with continuity of care, reducing errors and informs medication treatment decisions.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition) require health service organisations to have processes:

  • Clinicians take a best possible medication history, which is documented in the healthcare record on presentation or as early as possible in the episode of care.

How to obtain a BPMH?

Standardising the way clinicians collect and/or confirm a medication history will improve the accuracy of the information captured. For example, when possible, at least two different sources of information should be used to obtain a BPMH.

The following presentation and interview guide have been provided to assist services with standardisation.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) resources.

With the support of the ACSQHC, the NPS has developed an online learning module: