Post hospitalization, when the patient is discharged, the idea is to help them recover in their home environment. But dangers lurk in homes too in the form of medication errors. It’s a common problem that many people experience within a few weeks of leaving the hospital.
Most hospitals provide medication regimens that aren’t in many ways connected with medications they were taking before they got admitted into the hospital. Plus the medication instructions written by doctors are not as legible or clear to a common man as to the pharmacist or the nurses. This just goes on to show that there is a visible communication gap between the various parties involved – the hospital, the patient, the pharmacist and the doctor who regularly monitors the patient.
The patient is also somewhere responsible for these errors. Even if they don’t fully understand discharge/medication instructions, they don’t ask for explanations. Some don’t follow medication instructions when they get home since they are feeling better already and miss doses. Some go back to their earlier medications. And still some don’t monitor or report their side effects.
How Home Health Care plays a role in reducing errors:
- These service providers are able to decode the communication regarding medication from hospitals and help the patient follow the regimen strictly.
- By explaining the new medication regimen and making sure the patient understands it, the provider is helping the patient understand the importance of taking the medication and implementing it without fail.
- They try to maintain a communication process with the hospital team and try to keep up a better post-discharge follow-up to help the patient recover faster.
- The Home healthcare provider also gives clarity on how the pre-hospitalization medication regimen is different from the post-hospitalization medications and why the changes are being made. This ensures that the patient understands and therefore follows the regimen strictly.
- They are aware of the problems that need to be watched for post hospitalization, understand any new symptoms and are able to take corrective actions immediately.
- Since the medication is handled by the service provider, they ensure that medicines are given in a timely manner and no skipping of medicine time happens
- By keeping a strict eye on symptoms and medications, the service provider actually ensures that a healthy road to recovery is taken quickly and effortlessly by the patient.
- How the patient can help here
- By following instructions that have been provided by the doctor and also heeding the advice of the health care consultant
- To keep a check on the previous medications and understand the uses and dosage of each. This will help them whenever the medications are needed or they need to explain to a doctor or even a service provider.
- Try to keep their medicines organized – in the form of a pill box. For each medication dose or for each time of the day.