Friday, March 6, 2015

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week and the week’s theme of "United in Safety", Jill Keller-Reyka, Patient Safety Officer for Summit Health, shared some tips on medication safety. According to Keller-Reyka, patients, families, and medical providers need to work together to make sure everyone knows all the information they can about medications.

“Whether you take one medication or many, it’s important to understand what each one is, does, and how much of it you should be taking,” Keller-Reyka said.

It’s important to partner with your healthcare providers. You need to make sure you understand all of your medications, and your doctor and pharmacist can help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, she said.

“All new prescriptions are dispensed with pharmacist instructions,” Keller-Reyka said. “When you are given your prescription at the hospital or you pick it up at the pharmacy, you need to understand several things. I can’t say this enough – don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Keller-Reyka encouraged everyone to know:

  • What did your doctor prescribe the medicine for?
  • What is the brand name of your medication?
  • What is the generic name of your medication?
  • What is this medicine supposed to do to you or for you?
  • How many times a day do you need to take the medicine?
  • How much do you take at one time?
  • How long do you take the medicine?
  • How do you take it - with water, juice?
  • When do you take it – before or after meals?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • How should you store the medication?
  • What should you do when you need a refill?

“It’s also important to keep a list of your medications, even if it’s just one, including the amount you take, when you take it, etc,” she added. “Keep that list with you and take it to all of your doctor’s appointments, and anytime you come to the hospital. Make sure you update it as your medications change. This information is critical in making sure you are getting the care you need.”

If you have questions about your medications; make sure you ask your pharmacist or doctor right away.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community. 

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.