Saturday, February 4, 2012

Medication Reconcilation

Figuring out what medications a patient is actually taking can be very challenging. Patients often don't know what medications they take and often what you write in the chart often doesn't reflect reality. Patients may run out of a drug and neglect to refill or they may decide to stop the drug on their own.

One solution is to have patients maintain their own medication lists which they update at their office visits or if they are seen in the emergency department or in the hospital. One of my patients uses MyMedSchedule. He had a renal transplant which requires him to take antirejection medications which interact with other commonly prescribed medications. This program was recommended by the transplant clinic. It produces nice lists with pictures of the pills. He brings a printout to every office visit for me to review.

I tried the iphone app. It has medication reminders which are a bit annoying. The pill pictures work well for branded drugs like Myfortic, a drug taken by the transplant patient, but generic drugs, which most patients take, have no pictures. Still having the list on your phone saves having to print out a list for an office visit. Also in an emergency a patient could take out his phone and show the list to the hospital staff.

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