Medical Corner: Know your medications for better health

  • Published
  • By Terri Schaefer
  • 71st Medical Group
To promote patient safety, the 71st Medical Group is doing a complete review of all medications, both over the counter and prescription, every time a patient visits the facility. 

Patients can ensure a safer experience within the global health-care system by ensuring both they and their medical provider are "in the know" when it comes to medication usage. 

During medical appointments, the health care team will review active patient medications, as well as any over-the-counter and herbal medications, and decide whether to continue or discontinue medications listed. 

This is called medication reconciliation. Patients will receive their choice of a printout of their current medications or a wallet card. The wallet cards provide ease of portability. 

Medication reconciliation information, be it on the card or the printout, should become part of what patients take to every doctor's visit, emergency room, hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home or home-health provider. 

Sharing information with health care providers about over-the-counter drugs and herbal usage is important because they may interact or duplicate medications, or cause allergic reactions. 

Medication safety also means that patients will receive the medication prescribed at the right time and in the right way. 

Medication reconciliation helps promote patient health and safety by assisting patients in discussing medical history with their physician, helping track medications, herbal and supplement use and providing healthcare providers with more complete and accurate information so patients will obtain a safe level of care.