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

reactions he or she may experience, and possible drug-drug, drug-food interactions. The team then creates a "medication action plan" that clearly identifies any important concerns the patient should be aware of, and the signs of symptoms that may require emergency care. The patient is given a copy of the action plan to take home and share with his or her family, and their other various specialty health care providers including their local pharmacist.

"As our patients have more concurrent diseases, programs like Medication Therapy Management will have increasing importance, as this type of counseling cannot often be performed during routine office visits," said Richard V. Smith, MD, Vice Chairman, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Chairman of the Cancer Committee at Montefiore. "The benefit to these patients is tremendous, as inappropriate use of the medications can affect the outcomes of the cancer treatment."

Since the Medication Therapy Management program's inception, the team has identified and corrected patients' problems such as non-cancer drugs' interactions with oral chemotherapy, non-adherence with chemotherapy and prescribed regimens for other conditions, outdated immunizations and cost/insurance challenges in obtaining prescription medications.  During these interactions, the patient and family are given the opportunity to ask questions such as, "Can I take my pills with grapefruit juice?" The program's education component empowers patients to become active participants in their care, and the collaboration between specialties is rewarding for clinicians. Sessions can last up to 30-45 minutes and include a brief assessment of the patient, review of the current labs and all medications.

"Our goal is to personalize patient care and increase patient safety through this collaborative model," Hopkins said
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SOURCE Montefiore Medical Center
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