Avoiding Medication Mishaps
Something that many patients may not know is that medication mistakes are the number one reason patients end up back in the hospital after being discharged. These can occur in several different ways, including:
- Your physician in the hospital may not have had access to your medication list, and wrote a prescription that interacts badly with one of your regular medications.
- You, the patient, may not have understood that you were supposed to stop one medicine and change to a different one. Patients taking two medications for the same thing, when one was supposed to be discontinued, is dangerous and happens more frequently than you might think.
- A doctor, nurse, or pharmacist may have made a human error in handling your prescription.
The best way you can help your provider and care team is to bring all of the bottles of medications you are taking with you to your doctor visits. If you take over-the-counter medications like allergy medicines, supplements, or vitamins, bring those with you as well. This allows your doctor and his or her medical assistant to verify the medication names and dosages. It also allows your doctor to ensure that you have enough refills on your medicines he or she prescribes to last you until your next appointment, saving you the time and effort of requesting a new prescription between visits.
Helping your provider by bringing your medications with you to every visit helps keep you healthy, and ensures you make the most of your time with them.