Most people know that it is bad when medications prescribed by a physician are not taken as prescribed. It is equally as bad when a physician prescribes new medications without knowing that their client hasn’t taken their current medications properly. It only gets worse when a physician prescribes medications without knowing what another physician has already prescribed.
There can be many moving parts in this process. It is not something that can be blamed on the physician or the patient in most cases. What is for sure is that a skilled nurse can spot these medication mistakes during a home visit.
For example, I drove to visit a new client for medication management a couple months ago. He had been spending all his energy working to get healthy after a spinal stroke. His understanding of his medications was not good.
When I arrived he had two different lists of medication in his home. The lists had problems which I recognized immediately. For one, three different antidepressants were prescribed. He also had multiple pain medications and muscle relaxers prescribed. And last, he was missing three medications.
I spent the next two weeks calling and faxing his doctors and pharmacy. I was trying to straighten out his lists by confirming each medication on the list. It took two weeks because I would have to wait 2-3 days for each response after faxing or calling with a request. When it was all finished, I sent a copy of the revised medication list to both of his doctors and to his pharmacy.
I know this will happen again. The medical system that he is connected to is too busy to see him as important. He is not the kind of patient that will create a fuss to get noticed. It is just a matter of time before one of his doctors or his pharmacy overlooks his needs.
It will be a change in insurance coverage, or a change in his condition that will most likely cause the next problem. Good news for him, he has a skilled nurse making home visits who will be watching for problems if they arise.