appointment when they have questions or concerns, as well as maintaining an up-to-date medication/dosage list; and 4) advises the patient to notify the provider’s nurse if there is a change in pharmacy ( ). Some valuable information can be taken away from this clinic’s medication policy that would be useful in creating our policy. We can see how their procedures significantly decrease risk and improve communication, especially between the pharmacy and the clinic. The fact that they do not just prescribe anything over the phone and they must first be seen by a provider will ensure that the right medication is prescribed by the authorized person. While we cannot make patients maintain a log of their medications and bring it with them every time; it is important to educate them how this practice would increase safety and improve communication. Not to mention that when a clinic maintains an accurate patient medication list, the risk of adverse event is minimized. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) emphasizes the complexity and risk associated with prescription medication. Clinicians have access to a massive catalog of greater than 10,000 prescription medications, which changes rapidly.
Polypharmacy is a significant concern with patients because nearly one- third of adults in the United States take more than 5 medications daily. Without maintaining accurate medication documentation, the risk of an adverse drug event is an accident waiting to happen ( ). The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also had some helpful tips for improving medication safety. They recommend: 1) orders must be legible and contain drug name, administration route, frequency, reason, and if relevant to dosage, the patient’s weight/age; 2) decimal points should lead, never follow; 3) standardized abbreviations; 4) verbal medication orders are limited to urgent situations and should be read back by the person receiving the order ( ). Patient education surrounding medications is highly emphasized as it can result in improved adherence, patient outcome, and potential errors. It is also recommended that clinicians obtain a confirmation of understanding by the patient ( ). Once the policy has been developed, all staff must be trained on the new policy and a confirmation of understanding should be obtained. There should be ongoing staff training on these policies as information can easily be forgotten. I would also recommend that the committee review the policy for effectiveness and whether updates should be made to the policy at least annually. Jennifer Improving Medication Safety. (2012, August). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from - Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on- Patient-Safety-and-Quality-Improvement/Improving-Medication- Safety Medication Errors. (2015, March). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from Olaniyan, J.O., Ghaleba, M., Dhillonb, S., & Robinson, P. (2015). Safety of medication use in primary care.
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