Navigation Links
Most Hospital Patients Don't Know What Meds They're Taking
Date:12/10/2009

Knowledge of regimen may help avert drug errors, study authors suggest,,,,

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A small study finds that even adults who know what medicines they take at home can't accurately name the drugs they're getting in the hospital.

Forty-four percent of patients believed they were receiving a medication in the hospital that was not actually prescribed. A patient who normally receives a blood pressure medicine, for example, may have thought the medicine was continued when, in fact, it was not.

Ninety-six percent of patients failed to recall one or more of the medicines that they had been prescribed during their stay, according to the study, which is published Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

"I don't think that's surprising at all. I think that that's the natural consequence of the way in which hospital culture is designed. Patients are given their medicines and they take their medicines," said study author Dr. Ethan Cumbler, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and director of the University of Colorado Hospital Acute Care for the Elderly Service.

"It's actually a very different culture than what goes on in the outpatient setting, where patients actually are expected to know what they were taking, when they're supposed to take it and for what reason," he explained.

But the stakes are just as great -- if not greater -- in the hospital.

Say an antibiotic was prescribed. If the patient was allergic to a particular antibiotic and knew which drug he or she was about to receive, that person could play a role in averting the medication error before the drug was administered, Cumbler reasoned.

Or, a kidney transplant patient normally takes certain medicines to prevent rejection of the organ, but a dose might be accidentally skipped.

"If the patient knows what medicines they're supposed to be getting and when, then they're sort of one extra layer of protection to make sure that things go well," he said. "If they don't know what medicines they're supposed to be getting or when, then they are dependent on hospital systems to work flawlessly, and the sad fact is that hospital systems in any hospital don't work flawlessly."

Kevin Colgan, corporate director of pharmacy at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and immediate past president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, was surprised that so many patients did not know what drugs their doctor has prescribed.

"It means that evidently it was not well-communicated with them what their plan of care was," he said.

To catch medication errors, patients first have to know something about the medicines they're taking. So for this study, Cumbler and colleagues surveyed 50 adults between the ages of 21 and 89 at the University of Colorado Hospital. All were knowledgeable about the medicines they were taking before admission.

Patients were then asked to write down all the medicines they thought doctors were prescribing for them while they were in the hospital. Researchers compared that list to the actual medication administration record -- the list of medications that were being given to them in the hospital.

Medicines prescribed but not listed by the patient counted as errors of omission, while medicines listed by the patient but not actually prescribed counted as errors of commission.

On average, patients omitted 6.8 medications, most commonly antibiotics (17 percent), cardiovascular medications (16 percent) and antithrombotics (15 percent), the researchers found.

Only 28 percent of patients said they'd seen their hospital medication list, although 78 percent would like to have been given such a list, and 81 percent said it would improve their satisfaction with their care, the study authors noted.

"There are a group of patients that want to be more involved," Cumbler noted, "and I think this raises the question, 'How can we help them be more involved?'"

What's more, for some patients, especially those who are older and cognitively impaired, more involvement may not be desirable and, in fact, may have disadvantages, he noted.

Colgan described a number of things patients can do to get more involved in their own medication management:

  • Keep a list of medications you take so you can provide an accurate medication history when you check into the hospital.
  • During your stay, ask: "What's that name of the drug you're giving me? What will it do? And what adverse drug reactions should I expect?"
  • Before discharge, learn about any medications you'll be taking at home.

More information

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists can help you keep track of your medicines.



SOURCES: Ethan Cumbler, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, and director, University of Colorado Hospital Acute Care for the Elderly Service; Kevin J. Colgan, M.A., FASHP, corporate director, pharmacy, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, and immediate past president, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, Md.; Dec. 10, 2009, Journal of Hospital Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
2. NYC-area 1st: Morgan Stanley Childrens Hospital performs transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement
3. Norwalk virus: Cruise ship illness challenging and costly to hospitals, too
4. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
5. Billy Graham Home After Hospitalization:
6. Alvarado Hospital Files Countersuit Against Blue Shield
7. UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West
8. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
9. Annual flu shot cuts need for doctors visits, hospitalization among children
10. REACH Registry Highlights That Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Suffer High Rates of Heart Attack, Stroke, Hospitalization, and Death
11. R. P. Simmons Family Foundation Pledges $2 Million for New Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Campus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Pullano Law Offices, a Chicago personal injury law firm, ... selected to serve as President of the North Suburban Bar Association for 2017-2018. Mr. ... hosted by the NSBA at the North Shore Country Club in Glenview, IL, on ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... Rob Lowe, explores the world of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease estimated to ... This according to information published by the Alzheimer’s Association, a leading voice in ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... The freshly ... customers’ doorstep. According to Smart Mart, customers can now order vegetable, fruit, snacks, ... and customers can find clothing at discounted prices. Apart from this, Smart Mart ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... , ... September 21, 2017 , ... 38-Year-Old Plastic Surgeon ... Center in Naples, Florida is pleased to announce that Plastic Surgeon Kiranjeet Gill has ... 40 Under 40 is an annual award that was started in 2003 to ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... **An FDAnews Management Report**, http://www.fdanews.com/products/54818-promotional-communication      , In the competitive world of ... can get while staying in compliance with FDA rules. , The FDA has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... , Sept. 6, 2017 NeuroRx, a clinical stage ... Ideation and Behavior (ASIB), has been granted Fast Track status ... therapy of NRX-100 (ketamine HCl) followed by NRX-101 (D-cycloserine + ... pivotal trial of this sequential therapy targeting patients who are ... ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... Sept. 5, 2017  Just 18 months after its ... pleased to announce the appointment of three new senior ... , Dominic Jones-Phillips and James Wright ... Tammy Wynne ... market access writers. She has over ten years, experience ...
(Date:8/31/2017)... , Aug. 31, 2017 PM360,s ... must-read guide to the latest innovations happening across the ... industry publication to focus on providing a comprehensive look ... the issue covers the most innovative companies, startups, divisions, ... "Everyone in this industry ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: