One solution is to have patients maintain their own medication lists which they update at their office visits or if they are seen in the emergency department or in the hospital. One of my patients uses MyMedSchedule. He had a renal transplant which requires him to take antirejection medications which interact with other commonly prescribed medications. This program http://www.mymedschedule.com was recommended by the transplant clinic. It produces nice lists with pictures of the pills. He brings a printout to every office visit for me to review.
I tried the iphone app. It has medication reminders which are a bit annoying. The pill pictures work well for branded drugs like Myfortic, a drug taken by the transplant patient, but generic drugs, which most patients take, have no pictures. Still having the list on your phone saves having to print out a list for an office visit. Also in an emergency a patient could take out his phone and show the list to the hospital staff.