I was shocked when I read that medication errors either harm or kill approximately 30,000 people every week in the U.S., which equals injury or death to 1.5 million people a year. The Institute of Medicine, who developed this data, also reported that 60% of these mistakes happen because information about a drug wasn’t properly documented or communicated during a transition. A transition means when the patient moves from doctor to doctor, the information moves from department to department, or hospital/healthcare setting to home.
The NTOCC (National Transitions of Care Coalition) urging patients and their care givers to take responsibility for seeing that information about the medications and supplements they take is updated and clear (to both patient and care provider) each time they have a healthcare visit, and with each transition they make.
As a result, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists has created a medication list that patients can print out, complete and take the form whenever they see the doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Using this medication list (click HERE to print out medication list) will help to:
- Review and discussion of what you currently take – drugs and supplements.
- Documentation of any corrections or changes suggested during the visit.
You can print out a companion page with spaces to enter other useful information and reminders for this healthcare visit your contact information, note of any allergies or problems with medicines, note on when and with whom you have reviewed and updated your medicine list, and note on any questions you want to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Down the right side of the form you can list which medications you take at different times of day:
- When I get up, I take
- In the afternoon I take
- And so on through bed time, followed by Other medicines I do not use every day
Then, for each drug listed, across the page you can describe what you know (or dont know) about each medicine, under these headings:
Drug Name (brand name, generic name, dose)
This looks like
- How many?
- How I take it.
- I started taking this on:
- I stop taking this on:
- Why I take it.
- Who told me to take it.