A North Dakota pharmacist is taking a drastic step toward improving her practice: appealing to her patients.
Director of Pharmacy Carilyn Mundahl says that there is an easy and highly effective way to make sure customers don’t suffer a harmful prescription drug mistake; patients must keep their own records, and keep them up to date.
Mundahl says that she and her staff of pharmacists are responsible for getting patients the right medication in the right dosage, but patients must stay involved in their treatment.Customers frequently change pharmacies, add and discontinue medications, and go from a clinic to a hospital setting without informing caretakers or their complete medication regimen - or even knowing what medications they take.
"We`re trying to prevent any kind of medication errors that could possibly happen or just making sure everything is complete with their record," said Mundahl.
Mundahl encourages all of her patients to keep a booklet with them to keep an accurate count of their medications and dosages, and to edit the list regularly. This can be invaluable in case of emergency.
"You can keep it in your wallet or purse... so if you were to get admitted, we could have the most accurate info."
She added that seniors should take special care to track their medications, since they are most at risk of complications and are likelier to be admitted to a hospital suddenly. Unfortunately, elderly patients are also more likely to take multiple medications.
"They end up losing track of what they`re on, what they should be on,” Mundahl says. “It becomes quite a challenge."
In addition to getting help at their local pharmacy, Mundahl reminds her patients that pharmacists are also available in emergency rooms. If a patient arrives at or wakes up in an unfamiliar ER, he should immediately present the on-staff pharmacist with his prescription booklet to ensure accurate information.