What is Medication Management?
Medication management is the monitoring of a patient’s medication regimen to ensure that he or she is taking their medication properly and to ensure that they are avoiding potentially dangerous interactions. This is particularly important for those taking a large number of medications.
Taking several different medications is known as polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is more common among older adults as they represent a greater likelihood of taking multiple medications in response to a greater variety of chronic conditions.
There are several different systems that can be used to help manage medications. This includes detailed patient records for healthcare providers to use when writing prescriptions, to pharmacy computers that keep track of prescription history in order to provide warnings for when drugs are prescribed that have conflicting effects with other drugs.
Working with patients directly about the drugs they need to take tends to ensure compliance with their drug regime. Care providers are also included in this process in order to safeguard the possibility of timely medication taking and to ensure the correct dosages are being administered.
There are a number of important factors to consider with respect to medication management, all aimed at ensuring that medications are used appropriately. One of these factors is keeping track of all the medications a patient is currently taking. This can involve spreadsheets describing medications and their dosages, as well as what those medications are being used to treat. This can be placed in a patient chart and provided to the patient to aid their understanding.
Keeping track of when medication needs to be taken is also important to ensure the safety of the patient. Medications often need to be taken at specific doses at set intervals. Missing the timing of a dose or even missing it completely can lead to harmful complications.
To help ensure a patient takes a specific medication when they are meant to, devices can be used to provide patients with reminders. Marked pill cases are also useful tools that can be used to provide reminders for when a medication needs to be taken and to help ensure that a medication isn’t taken more times than prescribed.
The Importance of Drug Interactions
A third factor part of effective medication management is checking for harmful drug interactions and ensuring that patients are following the directions for taking their drugs. This involves ensuring that patients are not provided with conflicting prescriptions that can produce harmful interactions. It also involves reminding patients about taking medications with food when necessary and informing them about potential side-effects such as hunger, altered state of consciousness, or fatigue that might disrupt their daily activities.
If you need help in medication management, please contact us. We will be happy to help you!