How to Find Medications in Your Electronic Health Records

the PicnicHealth Team
May 1, 2020
Blog post originally written by the AllStripes community team. AllStripes was acquired by PicnicHealth in 2023.

Patients and healthcare providers alike have significantly benefited from the increasingly widespread usage of electronic health records, or EHRs. These digitized, accessible forms of storing, updating, and sharing patient data have given doctors and healthcare personnel valuable information that aids providing better patient care. While the usage of EHRs wasn’t as widely popular roughly a decade ago, today virtually every healthcare provider, from hospitals to private practices, uses them at some level. And they can be used for a variety of purposes, from tracking patient history to staying on top of patient medication.

What do EHRs do for patients and doctors?

Electronic health records benefit patients and improve the quality of the medical care that they receive. Through the use of EHRs, doctors and other healthcare personnel can reduce the number of medical errors, aid them in making the right diagnoses, and even improve patient safety. This stems from the wealth of patient information EHRs contain. Often a patient’s medical history, treatments, procedures, medication, and even consultations can all be found in one essential file. (There are still some limitations because many EHRs are not compatible with others, so visits to a doctor in one health system often will not appear in the EHRs of another health system.)

At a glance, virtually any authorized personnel involved in a patient’s care would get a bird’s eye view of their health and their wellness. Furthermore, there will be far better maintenance of their health as these EHRs can be updated to include outpatient treatment, prescriptions, and medication. Patients and doctors alike may be able to see their prescribed medication and stay on top of what they need.

EHRs and Medication

So, how do EHRs and medication work? How do doctors update prescriptions here, and how can patients locate them?

Qualified EHRs can keep a detailed record of patient medications. In an EHR, providers can create, update, and maintain the active list of drugs that a patient receives, as well as their allergies. EHRs can also do automatic checks for issues when a new medication is prescribed, indicating whether or not there will be issues with allergies. It makes handling medication for patients safer, primarily when used with the right guidelines.

EHRs, E-Prescriptions, and the Medication List

EHRs can generate and transmit prescriptions electronically. They also hold a list of the active medication that a patient is taking at the time. This way, healthcare providers can simply prescribe the necessary medicines to their patients without the need for paper prescriptions that can be lost or misinterpreted. Patients can also easily refer back to their active medication lists as needed.

E-prescribing is an EHR function that allows healthcare professionals to enter the necessary prescriptions via a mobile device or a desktop computer. The information is securely transmitted to the patient’s EHR and the pharmacy that will be fulfilling the prescription. The pharmacy then receives the request and begins filling it as instructed. It can be cheaper, more convenient, and a whole lot faster.

Patients can also refer back to their active medication list in the EHRs, which is the list of the medications that are currently prescribed to the patient. It’s part of the core measures in “Meaningful Use” for EHRs. As required by the government, there must also be a list of their medication history with the active medication they are taking.

Depending on the user interface and software of the EHR, there might be a difference where the list may get found. Still, every EHR should have this list readily available for patients to access so they can refer back to their prescriptions and see whether they have gotten filled or not.

Ultimately, this results in well-updated patient medication, cheaper, and more convenient processes. What’s more, patients are protected from medication errors and other issues.

EHRs contain a wealth of patient-related health information, not the least of which is their medication and medication history. To get access to your complete medical records, visit


the PicnicHealth Team

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Create a List

List the names of all the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities your loved one visits regularly, along with those they have visited in the past. Try to go back as far as you can, striving for at least the last 5-10 years, but do your best. Even if you can’t remember them all, having a strong baseline can help you quickly identify gaps in records.

Ensure You Have the Appropriate Legal Status

It is important to make sure that you are fully empowered to make decisions on behalf of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Your relationship status with the patient may not be enough to legally give you access to your loved one's medical information. It is a good idea to talk to an expert about securing special legal status, such as Power of Attorney (POA), a legal document that allows an individual to name someone as their decision maker should they no longer be able to make decisions on their own.

Gather and Organize the Medical Records in One Place

It’s important to have all of your loved one’s medical records together in one spot. This makes it much easier for you and your loved one’s physicians to accurately map the patient’s medical journey and more easily share information between doctors. Fortunately, tools exist to make record management and access simple. A free resource like PicnicHealth helps you collect and organize all of this information. PicnicHealth’s intuitive timeline allows you to pinpoint data across the medical history, eliminating your need for keeping heavy binders filled with paper records or keeping track of multiple software portal logins.

Review the Medical Records to be an Informed Advocate

The better you understand your loved one's medical history, the better you can advocate on their behalf. Access and understanding of this information will help you to ask informed questions with physicians. Through regular communication backed by the data in the medical records, you can help your loved one’s care team develop a more successful care plan.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Together, we can make a difference.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Build a support network.

When you’re juggling appointment times and insurance claims, putting a robust support system together might not strike you as the most urgent task. Investing the time to cultivate relationships with people can turn to in times of need will pay dividends. The next time you need a last-minute ride or just someone to listen, you won’t be on your own.

There are many condition-specific support groups and support groups for caregivers generally in person or online. In addition to the encouragement and empathy they provide, support groups can be a helpful source of tips, resources, and recommendations for navigating caregiving.


Stay organized.

The backbone of effective caregiving is organization. Keep medical information, appointment schedules, and medication lists in order. Use a planner or a digital service like PicnicHealth to stay on top of your responsibilities. This attention to detail can prevent future complications and reduce day-to-day stress.


Explore treatments and clinical trials.

We’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in treatment over the past couple of years, powered by patients and their caregivers participating in research. Stay in the loop about the latest in medical advancements and available resources that could benefit your loved one. Whether it’s a new therapy option or a community service that aids independence, being informed can make a world of difference in the quality of care you provide.


Make time for self-care.

It may seem self-centered to focus on self-care—but when you feel good, you can be a better caregiver. Whether it’s exercise, a mindfulness practice, a soak in the bath, or just time to rest when you need it, carve out those moments in the day when you can unwind, reset, and stay healthy mentally and physically. Think of it as building up your reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding—which can only benefit your loved one. No one can pour from an empty cup.

Having trouble managing your loved one's medical records?

Easily manage all of your loved one's medical records and contribute to ongoing Alzheimer's research with PicnicHealth.

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LC-FAOD Odyssey: A Preliminary Analysis, presented at INFORM 2021

Data from real-world medical records:

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

16 yrs old

Median age at enrollment

38% Female

15 providers / patient

7.5 years of data / patient

Data from patient-reported outcome (PRO) survey

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

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However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your individual needs. In general, a diet with moderate protein intake (about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day) is recommended for people with kidney diseases.

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