Reduce medicine errors in the hospital
Although we’d all prefer to stay out of the hospital, emergencies or planned procedures may warrant a visit. In addition to bringing your medication list with you to the hospital, ask your provider if you can bring in and continue taking your own medications, particularly your Parkinson’s medicines (make sure the medicines are in their original pill containers). Some hospitals will actually let you manage these medications yourself, if you’re well enough to do that.
Unfortunately, medication administration in a hospital doesn’t always coincide with the way you time your medicine at home. Make sure to tell your healthcare providers what times you take your Parkinson’s medicines and ask them what can be done to make sure you receive those on time.
The following steps help reduce errors
- Bring a written list of medicines to include name, dose, and exact time of each dose. You may wish to print the Medication log in the MyChart section (place where you can find all helpful forms and worksheets) of this website.
- Speak to your nurse and educate them as to the reason you need to get your medcine on time.
- Print 2 copies of the document ‘Be prepared for your hospital visit’. Keep one at your bedside and share on with your nurse/doctor. This form includes medicines that are sometimes given in the hospital yet can worsen your Parkinson’s symptoms.
Occasionally a provider will write an order for you to receive your Parkinson’s medicine “as needed” (in medical language “PRN”) so that you have access to the medication when you need it and there is less delay. Explain to the nurses and doctors how important it is for you to receive your medicine on time so your body can move and function the way you need it to.
The bottom line in preventing a medication error is: Ask Questions! Don’t’ be afraid to voice your concerns or inquire about your medications. Whether you’re at home or in the hospital, stay involved in your medication management because no one knows your body like you do!
Also see the information posted in Reduce your medicine errors for more helpful tips.
Author: Lindy D. Wood, PharmD, Spokane WA