Medication Reconciliation and Management: What They Are and Why They’re Important
When you’re dealing with complex health issues, it can be difficult to keep track of the different medications you take on a daily basis, especially if you switch health providers, change pharmacies, or receive new prescriptions as your conditions evolve. Our expert team helps ensure you’re taking the correct medication with the correct dosage at the right time. We can also help you determine if any of your medications are causing negative side effects or potentially harming your health. Keep reading to learn how Prospero supports patients with medication management and reconciliation.
What Are Medication Management and Reconciliation?
Medication management is the process you use to organize your prescribed medications to ensure you take them as your providers intended. Medication reconciliation, which is done by a health provider, involves analyzing your current and previous prescriptions to determine if your medications are both safe and necessary.
Why are They Important?
Effective medication management and reconciliation are essential for people with serious illnesses because taking medications incorrectly—or taking medications that have negative interactions with each other—can cause side effects, injuries, and, in serious cases, death.
How Does Prospero Help With Medication Management and Reconciliation?
Our team members can work with you—either virtually or in person—to help you keep track of your medication regimen. Darrica Brown, a Prospero registered nurse based in Charlotte, North Carolina, describes how she supports patients who are struggling to manage medications:
“A lot of patients are used to taking their medications directly out of the bottle. And, in doing so, they sometimes make mistakes or forget to take their medication, which can lead to them taking it twice or not taking it at all. I try to make sure they know what they’re taking, why they’re taking it, and that they’re taking it the right way and at the right time.”
Darrica recommends that patients remove their medications from the pharmacy pill boxes and place them in a pill box that shows them which medications to take each day, and at what time of day. She also finds that educating patients about their medications (“This medication will reduce swelling in your legs”) helps them stay on top of their medication regimen.
Along with medication management, Darrica uses her expertise to identify and remedy negative medication interactions. In one case, a patient of Darrica’s named “Nancy” was experiencing low blood-sugar spells that made it difficult for her to rouse herself from sleep. By looking at Nancy’s medication history, Darrica figured out that Nancy’s pharmacy had mistakenly filled a prescription for a medication that caused Nancy’s blood sugar to crash. Since Nancy stopped taking this medication, her blood sugar levels have been stable.
Medication Management Tips for Patients and Caregivers
Along with using a pill box, here are some other tips for managing your medications:
- Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you’re taking.
- Store all your medications in one place so you don’t lose track of them.
- Set alarms on your smartphone or tablet to remind you when you take your medications.
- Choose a single pharmacy to get your prescriptions filled.
- Make sure your health team knows if you’re taking over-the-counter medications or supplements.
Lastly, the most important tip is to ask questions. If you don’t know why you’ve been prescribed a certain medication, or you’re worried about side effects, don’t hesitate to talk to your providers. You can also always call Prospero’s Care Support Center at 1-888-905-1145, TTY 711.