Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Accountable or Responsible: Who is Monitoring the Medication?

Medication Safety and Management

I attended a presentation today by a hospital pharmacist.  Most of the people in the audience of about 50 professionals were representing nursing homes, home care agencies and people who work with older adults.  The presentation was very informative about understanding some of the complications and interactions that older adults experience with their medications.

The audience questions and comments focused primarily on who is responsible for monitoring the medication and reviewing medication.  The “responsibility” seemed to fall on the pharmacist or nurses in the nursing homes, rehabs, assisted living etc. Then the question about the home care agency in the patient’s home – who is checking on the medications?

The Food and DrugAdministration estimates that 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in the U.S. 

With numbers this high, there needs to be some responsibility of the patient and their family in this discussion.  When I brought up that this presentation should be offered to the public, others seemed confused.  When things go wrong, the public has no clue of the complexities in medication management or other areas of medical care.  We only know that if something goes wrong, someone will be held accountable.  These silos have to stop and the public must be more involved in not just their health, but their healthcare and that means opportunities to hear a pharmacist present on medication safety and management.