Think Your Patient Went Home With the Right Dose? Check Again. The following is based on event reports in the CHPSO database:
Post appendectomy, the patient’s mother wrote down the
discharge instructions for administering pain medication to her
child. She had the right medication and right time, but the wrong
dose. Three days later, the mother rushed her child to the
emergency department for constipation and shortness of breath.
The child survived.
While it is important for patients and their caregivers to take
an active role in their medication management, there are ways
providers can help avert medication errors at home. As nurses are
often the final point in the medication use process, they play an
important role in risk reduction by conveying medication use
information to patients. At the minimum, the following
information is important:
Purpose of medication
Name of medication
Dosage of medication
When to take medication
How to take medication
How to obtain medication
Also suggested is:
Asking patients to maintain an updated medications list that
they bring to health care visits
Encouraging the use of a single pharmacy for all prescription
With these recommendations in mind, researchers conclude that
organizations employing a discharge medication plan that
recognizes the patient’s co-management role may lead to reduced
hospital length of stay as well as reduced readmission rates,
particularly for the elderly with multiple medical conditions.
Also, the risk of duplicate prescriptions is reduced and
identification of harmful drug interactions more likely.