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Patient Safety

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Patients' Role in Medication Safety
The Institute of Medicine published a report in 2000 entitled, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System.  In this report, it was stated, "safety and freedom from accidental injury during medical treatment is a critical first step in improving quality of care."  The report concludes that errors can be prevented by designing systems that make it harder for healthcare professionals and other health care workers to make mistakes and easier for them to do the right thing.
 
Every patient receives medication of some kind while they are in the hospital.  At Marietta Memorial, we have systems and trainings in place that help prevent mistakes so there is no harm to the patient.
 
Patients play an important role in medication safety, too, because medication events are not simply an error in medication given.  Medication events can also occur because a patient does not tell the hospital staff about:
  • Allergies
  • Over-the-counter drugs taken
  • Medications taken
  • Herbal and natural products taken
To Use Medications Safely  
 
Ask Your Doctor
  • What is the name of the medicine?  Is this the brand or generic name?
  • What does the medication do?  How will I know when it is working?
  • What side effects should I expect?  What do I do if they occur
  • When should I start to feel better?
  • Does this new medication replace anything else I am taking? 
  • What do I do if I miss a dose?
Ask Your Pharmacist
  • What is the name of the medicine? (If the name is different than what your doctor told you, ask why.)
  • How should I take this medicine and for how long?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Should I avoid alcohol, certain foods or activities while taking this medicine?
  • How will this medicine interact with other medications I am taking, including over-the-counter and herbal medications?
  • Could I have some written information about the medicine?  Is it available in large print or a language other than English?
  • What should I do if I run out of this medication?  Can I get a refill?  When?
Organize Your Medications
 
Medication Card (PDF)
 
Complete the above medication card.  Put a copy of the card where others can find it in case of an emergency - in your purse or wallet, on your refrigerator and in the glove compartment of your car.  NOTE:  Include all over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications, home remedies, herbal medications including tea, vitamins and weight gain or loss products such as shakes, pills or bars.  Sometimes they can be dangerous when taken with other medications.
  • Show your card to your family doctor, your pharmacist and others involved in your care at every visit.
  • If you take many different medications or have medications ordered by different doctors, schedule a "brown-bag checkup" - place all your medications and over-the-counter products in a bag and take them to your doctor or pharmacist so he/she can look for any potential problems.
  • Store your medications in a dry area that does not have changed in temperature.  DO NOT store them in the bathroom, over the stove or in your car.
  • Keep your medications out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep your medications in their original bottle/container.  EXCEPTION: If your doctor or pharmacist suggests a daily or weekly medication box, ask how to use it.  Some medications should not be stored together or need special storage.
  • Each time you take your medication, read the label and make sure you are taking it correctly.
  • Throw away all products that are outdated or have not been used in awhile.  Ask your pharmacist how to properly dispose of these medications.
  • Never share your medications with others or take another person's medications.
Be Your Own Best Healthcare Champion
  • Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines, you notice a change in how a medication looks or you notice a change in instructions for taking a medication.
  • Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about allergies or any side effects or reactions you have had before accepting any new medications.
  • Get medical help right away if you develop itching or swelling or if you have trouble breathing after taking a new medication.
  • Take notes about what you learn at your doctor's office and pharmacy.  You may want to take a friends or family member with you to write down information.
  • Try to use the same pharmacy or drugstore or all your prescriptions so your pharmacist has a complete record of all your medications and can give you the best advice.
  • Always check prescriptions before you leave the store to make sure they medication is for you and is labeled clearly.  Make sure refill medications look the same as before.
Memorial Health System’s Accreditations & Awards
Memorial Health System
401 Matthew Street, Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 374-1400
© 2014, Memorial Health System.
MMH Emergency Department 90 min
Selby General 10 min
Physicians Care Express-Marietta 10 min
Physicians Care Express-Belpre 19 min
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