This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week, an effort of the National Patient Safety Foundation to help raise awareness about patient safety among health professionals and the public. In observance of this important effort, OptiMed would like to highlight the “five rights” of medication administration along with the steps we take to ensure safe, appropriate medical treatment for our patients.
THE RIGHT PATIENT
Before talking to a patient or doctor, editing a patient’s medication profile, or filling a prescription, our staff cross-checks two unique patient identifiers (such as patient name/address or patient name/date of birth) to ensure the right patient is receiving the right medication.
THE RIGHT MEDICATION
Many medications look and sound alike so OptiMed takes steps to avoid errors. OptiMed uses “tall man” lettering, a special lettering system to identify and differentiate look-alike and sound-alike medications. In addition, an up-to-date list of potentially confusing drug names is maintained and referenced throughout the pharmacy. Lastly, to maximize outcomes and effectiveness, OptiMed ensures that patients are taking the most appropriate medication for their particular disease state.
THE RIGHT DOSE
Making sure each patient receives the correct dose of medication is important to ensure that patients receive enough medication for it to be effective, but not so much that there is an increased risk of side effects or adverse reactions. OptiMed takes many factors into consideration when determining the correct dosage of a medication: the patient’s age, weight, medical history, sex, other medications, and more.
THE RIGHT ROUTE
The route of administration refers to where a medication enters the body. The most common route is by mouth but other routes such as through the skin (topically), inhalation, and injection are also frequently utilized. Our pharmacists work closely with patients to teach them how to properly administer their medications and to ensure that they are comfortable with the route of administration that’s been chosen.
THE RIGHT TIME
Some medications must be given at specific times to be effective such as before meals, immediately after meals, or at bedtime. In other cases, it is essential that certain medications be taken separately from others to avoid interactions. OptiMed’s pharmacists educate patients on precisely when to take their medications, what to expect, and what can happen if medication is skipped.
In summary, OptiMed has strict safeguards in place to ensure safe, appropriate treatment for our patients. For more information about our services, call 877-232-2857.