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New Montefiore Program Helps Patients Avoid Potentially Life-Threatening Medication Errors
Date:5/18/2010

n the not-so-distant future. As a result, this pioneering program will become an essential component of any medical oncology treatment unit. Many of our patients have already benefited from it," said Roman Perez-Soler, MD, Chairman, Medical Oncology.  

Each year, medication errors in the U.S. cause physical harm to patients and exact a serious financial toll on the healthcare system. According to the Institute of Medicine, adverse drug reactions and noncompliance are responsible for 28 percent of hospital admissions and 23 percent of nursing home admissions, and medication errors result in over $200 billion in direct health costs.

At the MECCC, patients considered to be at highest risk for errors include those who take more than five medications simultaneously, those with multiple co-morbid conditions, those taking oral chemotherapeutics, and those taking long-term (5 years) hormonal therapy. "Cancer commonly occurs in the setting of other chronic and acute diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.  Our patients are often on multiple medications that are important to their well being.  This program is a critical component to our paradigm of putting the patient first to ensure that they receive the best possible care and the best possible outcomes," said Steven K. Libutti, M.D., FACS, Director, MECCC, and Vice Chairman of Surgery.

"Our goal is to help patients get a clear understanding of their medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, as well as any vitamins or herbal supplements they take," Patel said.

Patients are referred to the Medication Therapy Management program by the physicians and nurses at the MECCC. During a session, the clinical team discusses with the patient any possible side effects, allergies or adverse
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