November 28, 2006

Medicine Safety Checklist

A key point made in the video "Tips for Taking Medicines Safely" on Science Daily is that the biggest cause of medication errors is a lack of communication. A checklist, discussed in the video, will increase communication between patient and doctor and reduce medication errors.

Each item below is discussed in the video:

  1. Ask lots of questions.
  2. Carry with you a list of all medications, including all nutritional and herbal supplements, and bring the actual vials, bottles, and boxes in a bag to doctor appointments.
  3. Ensure the medication given to you at the pharmacy is what you have been prescribed.
  4. Ask the physician (or pharmacist) about expected side-effects. When you suspect that you may be having a side-effect of a medication, report that to the doctor.
  5. Ask the doctor whether you will need to be monitored with laboratory tests while on the medication.
  6. If the prescription is handwritten, ensure that you have no trouble reading what it says.

Watch the 5 minute video: Tips for Taking Medicines Safely

Suggested Reading:
How to Prepare to Travel, when mentally ill
Hospitalized schizophrenia patients and medical complications
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives (US)
Supporting Loved Ones With Brain Disorders


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