Janet Silverster, the Director of Pharmacy Service at Martha Jefferson Hospital, explains that an initiative is going on in many Hospitals called Medication Reconciliation.
Janet explains further that many times a patient comes into the hospital with no history of what sort of drugs they are currently taking. In the course of treatment it's important for doctors to know what sort of drugs might interact with what you're currently taking. We don't want to over prescribe medicine but unless they know what you're on it's close to impossible to give you good treatment.
She explains further that we have had people come in and they don't know the names of the drugs they're on. They describe them as the pink pill that's round and the yellow one that's square. It is important that patients know that thousands of people are seriously injured and die each year b/c of adverse drug reactions. Many of these deaths and injuries are preventable with communication between the patient and nurses in a hospital to talk about what prescriptions you're taking whether over the counter, herbal remedies and vitamins and the medicines that your doctor orders.
Janet Silvester, MJH Pharmacy Director explains further that it is really important when you visit the hospital to come in with a list of your medications the dosage and what they were prescribed for. We're working on a community wide card that you can carry in your wallet that you can keep up to date with all of this information. But if you can't write all of it down bring your medications with you. and if you can't communicate, arrange for someone to be with you to talk about what you're taking.