Managing Your Medication at the Hospital

You can help your heath care providers avoid mistakes by helping them manage your medication during your hospital stay.

  • Bring your prescription medications from home. Your health care providers may want to see what you are taking.
  • Tell your health care provider and the hospital pharmacist you want to know the names of each medication being given to you and the reasons you are taking them. By asking questions you might prevent errors.
  • Look at all medications before you take them. If you don’t know what they’re for, or if they look different than expected, ask why. It might be a generic medication, or it might be the wrong medication. Ask the same questions you would ask your local pharmacist.
  • Do not let anyone give you medications without checking your hospital ID bracelet every time. This helps prevent you from getting someone else’s medications.
  • Before any test or procedure, be certain your health care providers are aware of any medication or food allergies (e.g., shellfish), and medications you currently take. Ask if there are special instructions concerning your medication before and after the procedure.
  • When you’re ready to go home, have a health care provider or the hospital pharmacist go over each medication with you and a caregiver. Ask for the treatment plan before you leave the hospital, and which medications you should continue taking. Update your medications list from home if any prescriptions change or if new medications are added, and notify your primary health care provider, including your pharmacist, about any changes that occurred in the hospital.

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