Study: Hospital patients lack knowledge

Most could not recall drug names

A new study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine highlights the problem of hospital patients being unaware of their own medications.1

Investigators found that 44% of patients thought they were receiving a medication that they had not been prescribed. And only 4% of patients were able to remember the names of all of their prescribed medications.

This education deficit poses a safety risk for hospital patients since patients who know their medications might be able to prevent the wrong medication from being administered.

There were 50 study participants, ages 21 to 89, and all said they knew all of their outpatient medications. They spoke English and were from the community around the University of Colorado Hospital.

Patients who lived in nursing homes or had a history of dementia did not meet the study's criteria.


  1. Cumbler E, Wald H, Kutner J. Lack of patient knowledge regarding hospital medications. J Hosp Med 2009; 10.1002/jhm.566.