Things To Do For Medication Safety

You can help prevent errors by knowing about all medications you take. Make a list of all your medications and bring this list with you each time you see a doctor or nurse. Your medication list should include:
  • Names of all your medications (include over the counter and herbal remedies)
  • Dosages (how much you take of each medication)
  • Time (when you take each medication)
  • Ways you take each medication (such as pill, patch, or liquid)

Tell your doctor or nurse about

  • all medicines you take at home (including prescriptions, over-the-counter items like aspirin, stool softeners, herbals, etc.).
  • any medication/food allergies or intolerances you have.

Never take a medication that you or your family have brought from home. If you brought any, send them home.

 

For your benefit, medications from home will not be used in the hospital because:

  • They may bypass the normal quality control systems intended to ensure safety and potency of medications dispensed to you.
  • You may end up paying twice—once for what you purchased from your local pharmacy, and a second time for your insurance premium (which covers inpatient medications).
  • Exempt from this policy are multiple-use items such as eye drops, inhalers, creams, ointments, or items not stocked in our pharmacy.

If you are not receiving a medication you normally take at home, tell the nurse or doctor so it can be ordered for you.

 

Partner with Cottage for Your Medication Safety

 

One of the most common types of medical mistakes has to do with medication errors-when patients take too many, too few, or the wrong pills. Medication errors can be very serious and lead to serious complications, admission to the hospital, or even death.

 

The good news is that patients and family members can help prevent medication errors. Many medication errors occur at "transition points," such as when patients enter the hospital, move from one room to another, or leave the hospital to go home. There are some ways you can help prevent medication errors at these transition points.

 

A list of your medications:

  • You can help prevent errors by knowing about all medications you take. Make a list of all your medications and bring this list with you each time you see a doctor or nurse. Your medication list should include:
    • Names of all your medications (include over the counter and herbal remedies)
    • Dosages (how much you take of each medication)
    • Time (when you take each medication)
    • Ways you take each medication (such as pill, patch, or liquid)

Up-to-date medication information:

  • Make sure to keep your medication list up-to-date.
  • Ask the doctor or nurse if your list includes all the medications you take now.
  • Change the information on your list each time you start or stop taking a medication.
  • Ask a pharmacist to review your medication list and make any needed changes.
  • Make sure that the medications you are taking do not interact with one another. Ask your pharmacist for help if you aren't sure. You can also look on the internet for websites such as  www.drugs.com that help you understand what medications should not be taken together.
  • Try to use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions and refills, so that your pharmacist can tell you about medications that you should not take at the same time.
  • Throw away all medications you no longer take.

Ways to use a medication list:

  • Bring your medication list each time you go to the hospital, emergency room, or clinic.
  • If you are too sick to do so yourself, ask a family member to show the medication list to your doctors and nurses.
  • Make sure you family has your doctor's name and phone number so that they can tell the hospital staff what medications you take.
  • When you leave the hospital, talk with the doctor or nurse about the medications you will take at home. Ask for specific instructions about when and how to take the medications, and why you need to take them.