1.5 million people are injured annually due to medication errors. National Academies Aug. 31, 2013. Now that's a scary statistic.
Helpful Hints To Help You Avoid Disaster:
~Research Your Medications to know their actions, side effects, interactions with other medications, when and how to take them to maximize their affect in the body.
~Understand that you are in charge of your medications, not the pharmacy or your physicians. It is ultimately you who will suffer if a mistake has been made.
~If dealing with multiple physicians, be proactive in educating all of them about medication changes/additions/deletions that have been made by other physicians you see. Keep them all in the loop.
~Have all medications filled at the same pharmacy so that interactions may have a greater chance of being caught. Again, no system is fail proof so double check medications and research them well.
~Check dosage and time the medication should be taken 2-3 times before actually ingesting/applying your medication EVERY time.
~Check expiration dates. Many medications can be rendered useless or even toxic if taken past the expiration date.
~If taking multiple medications, develop a visual system to help you see when you have taken what medication.
~If you have nausea or vomiting, understand that this will effect the absorption of your medication and that vital medications such as insulin or coumadin will need another route of administration. Notify your physician immediately.
~Be proactive in questioning why medications are being given and explore other options to present to your physician if applicable. Sometimes the "there's got to be a pill for that' mentality is what we are governed by. Remember that all medications have potential side effects that need to be weighed.
~Carry a laminated list of your medications in your wallet/purse and keep it updated. This will allow you to accurately relay to your physicians your current medications as well as assist Emergency workers in the event that you are in an accident or are rendered unconscious.
***If you need assistance in organizing and evaluating medications or you would like someone to serve as your liaison to sort through your medications, communicate with your physicians, and orchestrate a medication and treatment care plan, call Nurse Concierge.