I think it’s safe to say that we all have taken a prescription medication or over-the-counter remedy at some point in life. Many of us are fortunate to only take something as needed, but then there are those of us who require medication on a daily basis. Regardless of how often you take any medication, it is extremely important that you be able to tell a health care provider what you are taking. While it may seem like a minor annoyance and inconvenience to carry around a pill bottle, it really is for your own safety and to ensure you receive the highest quality of care.
The current recommendation from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is that patients bring a list of all prescription medications, as well as vitamins, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter drugs, to every Doctors office visit. This helps your doctor or nurse with a process called “medication reconciliation.” They compare all the medicine and supplements on your list with everything they have in their medical record from your last visit. They are looking for any changes with your medication or the dosage and also for any possible drug interactions. Sometimes drugs can have more than one name, so they are also making sure you aren’t the same or similar drug twice.
Click the link below for a printable medication list to help you get your medicines organized. Be sure to include any medication, vitamins and herbal supplements.
In addition to faithfully remembering to bring your medication list, also be sure to:
- Get the facts about your prescriptions. Ask questions about the medications your provider prescribes for you. Keep in mind if cost is a concern, there may be another medicine that costs less and will work the same.
- Stick with your treatment plan. Consistency creates results.
- Keep a handy record of all your Doctors, including specialists and the pharmacies you use.
If you like to take advantage of technology, I recommend the Evernote app as a great way to keep a list of your medications handy from your phone, tablet or PC.
By following these tips you will be informed and empowered to receive safe and effective care.