Practical Tips and Tricks for Implementing the Blue Bag at Your Practice Site

Since Health Quality Innovators (HQI) launched the Blue Bag Initiative, many pharmacists have signed up for this medication reconciliation program. If you are new to this initiative, please consider the following tips for successful participation.

Five Easy Steps to complete a Blue Bag Medication Reconciliation

  1. Develop a list of current medications.
  2. Make clinical decisions based on the list review and participant interview.
  3. Verify medications are “the right drug, with the right dose, at the right time”.
  4. Create a list of suggested changes for the prescriber.
  5. Communicate suggested changes for the prescriber to appropriate caregivers and to the participant.

Five Different Settings to Implement the Blue Bag

  1. Community Pharmacy/ Physician
  2. Assisted Living Facility
  3. Community Health Fair
  4. Immunization Clinic
  5. Hospital/ Urgent Care Discharge

Five Tips & Tricks to Implement the Blue Bag at Your Practice Site

  1. Select a Blue Bag Champion – Select a person to oversee the initiative and report results to HQI. Consider a pharmacist or physician to be your Blue Bag Champion!
  2. Organization – Organization is key to providing successful medication reconciliation at your facility. Establish a place to store completed forms and other Blue Bag information (if not electronically). Keep documentation to track and follow each patient. Track patients who were screened and received appointment cards and Blue Bags, patients who completed a Blue Bag medication reconciliation and patients who responded to follow-up.
  3. Assign Roles and Responsibilities – This must be a GROUP effort at your pharmacy or office. Even though there is a champion keeping everyone involved in the process, assigning specific roles will increase transparency. Here is an example of a few roles to assign:
    • Individuals who will screen/ recruit patients
    • Pharmacist(s) or physician(s) to complete the medication reconciliation
    • Individuals who will follow-up
    • Individuals who will keep track of the data
  4. Training – During your daily pharmacy huddles or staff meetings, introduce the Blue Bag to your entire team so everyone is aware of the initiative. Educate your team on how important it is to address adverse drug events, and how medication reconciliation is an excellent way to avoid and resolve such issues. A brief training will allow everyone one your team to know who is involved with the initiative and what information needs to be sent to each individual.
  5. Quality Improvement – Review your practice sites process and protocol after three to four months of offering this service to ensure continuous quality improvement. Discuss with your staff what areas are going well and areas of your workflow process require improvement. If you need any additional assistance, reach out to the pharmacy consultants at HQI at
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