Peninsula Home Care Educates on Medication Management During Patient Safety Awareness WeekPublished on - March 15, 2019
SALISBURY, MD – The season is about to change which means time to break out the rubber gloves and mop for some good ol’ fashion spring cleaning. Don’t forget the medicine cabinet! It’s a good time to go through prescription bottles and over-the-counter medications to see what has expired, needs to be disposed of and what is still safe to use.
“Medication management a top priority for our team,” said Barbara Murray, Peninsula Home Care Maryland branch director. “Many of our patients are taking a minimum of ten different prescriptions a day. They may not even be aware that the medications they come home from the hospital with could be a duplicate of something they have at home or may have an adverse effect when taken with another drug. It can be dangerous and even deadly if a patient doesn’t understand the implications of non-adherence or why there are taking what they have been prescribed.”
Peninsula Regional Medical Center is doing its part to promote medication adherence by providing an opportunity for patients to leave the hospital with medication in hand. Once a patient opts in, they can pick up their medication from the hospital pharmacy or have the prescriptions delivered to their room.
“Over the past year we have ramped up our use of PRMC Home Scripts to provide patients with up to a 30 day supply of their medication on discharge because we know this directly impacts hospital readmissions. We recently crunched the numbers and have seen the rate drop from 10% to 8%,” said Dr. William Cooper, Ambulatory pharmacy manager for PRMC Home Scripts at PRMC. “Our Meds in Hand program provides educational points during the entire hospital stay so patients know the importance of medication adherence and how it impacts their recovery and wellness.”
When a patient transitions from hospital to home and home care is ordered by a physician, one of the very first steps PHC does is an assessment of ALL prescribed medications and over-the-counter supplements. It’s people like Stacie Mankad, registered nurse with Peninsula Home Care who help streamline the process for patients with calls to the pharmacy, checking up on refills, making follow up appointments and educating people so they understand what it is they are taking and why.
“For many of our patients, timing is a challenge,” said Stacie Mankad, RN with Peninsula Home Care. “Remembering to take their medications, what time of day and paying attention to dosages too. The blister packs at some of the pharmacies help with this. Then we have some who continue to take medications that were once prescribed but are no longer necessary. This can lead to adverse reactions and unfortunately hospital readmissions if not identified quickly.”
Medication Nonadherence includes the following:
- Taking outdated medications
- Taking damaged medications
- Improper storage of medications
- Improper deliver of devices (inhalers)
- Failure to fill new or refillable Rxs
- Omitting a dose or doses
- Overusing medications
- Prematurely discontinuing medications
- Taking a dose at the wrong time
- Taking others medications
What can the patient do to help manage medications?
- Make a list – Keep an updated list of all over-the-counter and prescription medications with you at all times so you can share it with each member of your healthcare team.
- Keep a prescription file – After reading all of the written material that comes with your prescriptions, file it in a safe place where you can find it if you have questions about dosage or side effects.
- Use one pharmacy – If possible, have all medications filled at one pharmacy so your pharmacist can track them and alert you of any potential drug interactions.
- Set an alarm – Use an alarm on your phone or watch to remind yourself to take your medications.
- Use a pill box – Pill boxes are marked with the days of the week so you can keep track of which medications you need to take on a daily basis. You can also designate times of day with the color of the pill box – light for day and dark for night.
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing care for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care, in Salisbury, Maryland, ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 39,000 patients on Delmarva and was designated as a Peninsula Regional Medical Center preferred home care provider in 2017. For more information, visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.