Medication Safety is a Priority
While most studies focus only on medication errors in hospitals, the billions of medications prescribed annually at clinics and doctors' offices, filled at pharmacies and taken at home are also prone to error. Some mistakes are more serious than others, but all medication mistakes can be prevented. Boone County Hospital (BCH) is encouraging every adult community member to complete a “File of Life” card. The card can be obtained from your local Boone physician’s office or by calling the Boone County Hospital Foundation Office at (515) 433-8470. Carry the card with you in your wallet and share it with every one of your health care providers.
- Use the “File of Life” card to keep track of current prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and share with your doctor.
- Let your doctor know about any allergies or reactions.
- Ask your doctor and pharmacist whether it’s safe to take medications together or to take certain vitamins, herbs and other supplements with your meds.
- Read the label on your prescription. Does it have your name on it? And, is it the correct medicine?
- Ask the doctor or nurse why you should take a medication and request written information about the brand name, generic name and any side effects.
- Speak up if you think the doctor or nurse is about to give you the wrong medicine.
- Know what time you normally take a medicine and let the doctor or nurse know if that doesn’t happen.
- Tell your nurse or doctor if you don’t feel well after receiving a medicine.
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
- Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
- Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
- Know what medications you take and why you take them.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.