Sunday, July 11, 2010

SGH's medication safety videos

These educational videos really depicts how some patients in Singapore handle their medications, especially the elderly who are prescribed with many chronic ailment medications. Some of them do not even know what they are taking their medications for or have gotten them mixed up. Undiscovered Drug Related Problems such as inappropriate dose, duplicate medicines, use of expired medicines or side effects from use of medicines are also cause for concerns.

I have encountered patients who just readily said "no" to questions like "are you currently on any medications?" or "do you have any other health conditions?", probably so that they can just quickly get whatever medications that they want from the pharmacy and leave. However, upon probing they would suddenly "remember" that they have conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Of course, as healthcare professionals Patient Care is part of our duty to help patients achieve optimal health outcomes but not without patients themselves being more cooperative in sharing of information and complying with medical advices given.

How else could we instill a stronger sense of self-health responsibility?

The take home messages are:

- Be compliant to your chronic medications, not take only when you don't feel well

- Do not take expired or unindicated medications

- Avoid taking herbal supplements if you are on long term medications without medical advice as they may interact with your medications. Let your doctor know if you want to start taking them.

- Keep a list of medications that you are currently taking and also informed your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any medication

Enjoy the videos!

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