Can you name all of the medications you are taking? Do you know what the dosage for those medicines are? If not you may want to pay attention, because having a medication list not only helps you stay organized, it could help save your life.
Working in the medical field, Diane Willis of Redfield, knows the importance of having her medication list handy.
"That way it's all right there and they can look at that and that helps the doctors and nurses diagnose and make a quicker diagnosis." Said Willis.
When it comes to going the extra mile, Diane wrote the book, literally. She compiled a notebook that's full of her medical information.
"It's everything we need to know if we need to know when immunization was it's right there, if we need to know family history it's there, if we need to know your medicines and current medications it's there it might not always be in their computer system updated right away this way is and they have it." Said Willis.
More often than not, patients aren't as prepared as Diane. For doctors like hospitalist Dr. Fatima Kidwai, diagnosing patients turns into a guessing game.
"If they don't really know and if they just tell me I'm on a blood pressure medication then it's like which one? So you have to go through the description and when you go through the description there's always a margin of error." Said Dr. Kidwai.
Home Medication Reconciliation Nurses like Jody Sahli, then have the job of tracking down medications by calling the surrounding pharmacies and physicians. However, questions aren't always answered by making a phone call.
"We run into problems where patients come in later night and the pharmacy might be closed when you need to know that information and also they don't know other recent changes and milligrams or any dose changes that may have been added." Said Sahli.
In the hospital, time can make all the difference between life and death. Meaning an updated medication list can help buy several precious minutes.
"It's hard to judge if we don't know what their medications are listed or if their medications have been adjusted recently or a new medication has been added on whether it's a side effect from their medication or is there something else going on. So knowing what their medications are really helps us guide our management and how to change." Said Dr. Kidwai.
Diane also has lists for her mother and her husband. Her diligent work has gotten plenty of praise at Avera St. Luke's
"The reception has been wonderful from the doctors and the nurses they say it makes our job so much easier and it's so nice that it's alright there." Said Willis.
For Jody, a book like this means one less phone call.
"I said wow! Thank you for taking responsibility and making sure that we know the correct doses and medications, I was ecstatic, I was excited and I said thank you! Thank you!" Said Sahli.
An updated medical list is not just a tool for health care professionals. It shows doctors that their patients are taking responsibility and doing their part to stay prepared and stay healthy.
If your medication list doesn't require a book, Diane recommends a simple laminated list that you can keep in your wallet. It's a quick and easy way to be prepared for that unexpected hospital visit.
For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.