Medication Management in Home Health Care | Guide

Medication Management in Home Health Care

With the majority of patients over 65 taking multiple medications, it’s important to keep medication management organized. About 7,000–9,000 people die each year due to medication errors. For this reason, medication management in home health care is one of the most important parts of the job. Follow these steps to help each patient safely manage their medication regimen.  

Create a Comprehensive Medication List

During patient intake, create a medication list that includes details like medication names, doses, and medication schedules. A thorough medication reconciliation helps you keep your patients safe. 

Include All Prescriptions and Supplements

Supplements can interfere with medications and potentially cause adverse drug events. A complete list of medication must include every prescription, supplement, and vitamin your patient is taking. Ask patients which over-the-counter medications they use. 

Keep the List Updated and Accessible

Your in-home care teams may rotate caregivers. The goal of medication management is to improve patient care. By having mobile access to an updated medication list, every member of your care team can help a patient manage their daily medications. 

Develop a Clear Medication Schedule

Medication schedules ensure your patients get the right drugs at the right time to treat their symptoms. With a clear schedule, you can ensure medication adherence and best manage your patient’s health conditions.  

Be Aware of Relevant Medication Storage Techniques

Weekly pill boxes offer a common solution for home medication management. However, some drugs must be stored at certain temperatures or in dry areas. These medications couldn’t be stored in a pillbox in the bathroom. As part of at-home medication management, note how each prescription or over-the-counter medication should be stored and set up a care plan accordingly. 

Set Up Medication Reminders

By setting up reminders, you can help guide the safe administration of medications. A set schedule helps patients who manage multiple medications, or those with memory issues, stay on top of their daily doses. A good home medication management plan involves regular reminders to help patients and caregivers stay on track. 

Conduct Regular Medication Reviews

As a patient’s condition changes, they may need adjustments to their medication. As part of medication management at home, your care team should regularly review medications. Eliminating medications that are no longer needed or are no longer effective helps improve patient care and saves patients money on prescriptions. 

Monitor for Side Effects and Interactions

Your patients may be taking multiple drugs to manage various health conditions. If they switch medications, they will probably experience side effects. When your patient switches up a dose or adds a new medication to the mix, have your care team monitor them. Ask your patients to document their side effects when home caregivers aren’t around. 

Understand Correct Dosage and Administration

Include dosage notes and administration requirements in your medication list. Proper administration of medication helps avoid potentially harmful drug interactions. Documenting these requirements reduces the risk of medication errors. 

Report Concerns to Health Care Providers

Home medication management doesn’t have to be complicated. However, adding more prescriptions increases health risks to your patients. If you or your care team is concerned about medication side effects or complications, report them immediately to your patient’s primary care physician.

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