Prowers Medical Center has launched a new program to keep you safe and enhance your health. You’ve likely heard stories of people having a reaction to a medication, suffering from side effects, or taking multiple medications that interact to create undesirable results. That’s where the new medication reconciliation program comes in.
Now, when you visit Prowers Medical Center—the hospital, clinic, emergency department, or a specialist—you will be asked to update information on your medications so the staff can create a medication list for you. That medication list will be attached to your medical file, and also sent home with you to bring to future healthcare visits. To keep things up-to-date, providers encourage you to bring all of your medication bottles and supplements to your wellness exams, or to your next appointment.
“The nursing staff reviews the medication list with every patient that comes in as part of their assessment. They want to make sure all current medications are listed, note dosage changes, and remove medications patients are no longer taking. We want to review anything that’s prescribed, over-the-counter, and make sure all supplements are listed,” said Dawn Watts, Clinic Practice Manager.
That way, providers can check your medications against your known allergies, check for drug interactions and duplications, and make sure you are taking the medication as prescribed, and if not, have you discuss any changes with your provider.
“We are doing this hospital-wide so we can reconcile medications at every appointment. We ask patients to bring their medication list to each visit. Many people go to multiple specialists and no one has a complete list. You might go to the cardiologist for heart issues and the internist for diabetes. This is a way for everyone to see what you are taking and look for red flags,” said Terri Beckett, Care Coordinator at the Prowers Medical Center Clinic.
It also gives you a complete picture of your medications to take with you and keep current. It’s smart to know what you are taking and what it is for. That way, you will be able to tell someone quickly in a medical emergency. It also lets you take a more active role in your own health.
The new medication reconciliation program was part of a hospital-wide process improvement effort to enhance safety and quality of care at Prowers Medical Center. Staff in the emergency department (ED) were having trouble determining what medications some people were taking as records were not always updated by all healthcare providers involved.
“The process improvement effort included a team of nurses, pharmacy representatives and providers who decided what would work best in all areas, how to make sure medications were properly administered, and how to best protect patients,” Watts said.
As a patient, you can feel assured that Prowers Medical Center is watching out for your safety. The only change you’ll notice is that you’ll get a medication review at each visit, and you’ll be asked to bring your medications and medication list with you to each and every appointment.
“We just really want to reinforce safety with medications. Even if you go to the dentist, put your medication list in your purse and wallet and bring it along,” Beckett concluded.