Do you take prescription medication, over the counter medications or herbal supplements?
If you answered yes, do you have with you at all times a complete list of everything you take including dosage, how often you take the medication and what the medication was prescribed for?
If you don't have that list and share it every time you receive health care services, you are significantly increasing your chances of a medication error.
To encourage everyone to keep a current medication list with them at all times, The Medical Center of Plano has joined the Medication Safety Project: Educate Before You Medicate. A coalition formed by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) is working to make it easy for consumers to develop and maintain medication lists. Partners include the American Heart Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CVS/pharmacy, Dallas and Tarrant County Medical Societies, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Visiting Nurse Association, and Walgreens.
The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication errors estimates that poor communication is responsible for half the of the 1.5 million medication errors that result in injuries annually.
Mary Jo Dean, Vice President of Marketing at The Medical Center of Plano, says, "We hope to move towards a model of health care where there is more of a partnership between consumers and health care providers. This is an effort to make consumers aware they should understand what medications they are taking and why. They should know more about their medications and they should take additional responsibility for knowing why they are taking them."
The partners involved in this project want consumers to have a list of all of their medications and to provide that list each time they receive health care. The list can be a handwritten list, a computer generated list or maintained on a list such as a Universal Medication Form.
For more information on Medication Safety, visit the website for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)—the nation's only nonprofit organization of pharmacists, nurses, and doctors devoted entirely to safe medication practices. Preventing medication errors is no longer just a responsibility for health professionals—consumers like you can also play a vital role.