Managing Medication

During hospitalization, you or your loved one may have been prescribed new medications. It is important that you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these changes. They will need to know what medications you were taking prior to your hospitalization, and see what new medications were prescribed during discharge. It is important that you tell them exactly what you are taking and how.

person pouring medication from a large bottle into their hand with pill box calendars and more medication sitting on the table in front of them
elderly woman and-daughter placing pills in a pill planner

Tips for Effective Medication Management:

Identify a single community pharmacist or pharmacy - Working with a single pharmacy where you take all of your prescriptions to be filled greatly reduces the chance for medication errors. Your pharmacist will be able to identify possibly dangerous drug interactions, duplication (multiple prescriptions that do the same thing), and advise you on the appropriate use of over-the-counter medications.

Understand your medications – You should know why you are taking each medication, when and how to take it, and the possible side effects. If you are not sure about a particular medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep an updated medication list – This list should be a record of exactly how you are taking your medications. Take this list with you to every medical appointment and show it to your doctor or specialist. After being discharged from the hospital, compare your medication list to the medications listed on your discharge paperwork.

Medication System – Develop an effective system to help you organize your medications and take them as prescribed. Weekly pill organizers are one way.

Health care services for improving quality care and safety of patients during transitions across care settings