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2018 Canadian Patient Safety Week - Do your meds get along?

               2018 Patient Safety Week

Canadian Patient Safety Week (October 28 to November 2) is Canada’s only national campaign to raise awareness of patient safety and related programs and initiatives. This year’s theme is medication safety with the hashtag #NotAllMedsGetAlong. It highlights the risks of multiple medications and encourages the public to work with their pharmacist, physician or nurse to regularly complete a medication review. It is also important to keep an up to date list of all your prescribed medications and over the counter supplements. Visit the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety
website for your free It’s Safe to Ask Medication Card and other important patient safety resources.

For patients who require multiple medications or who are transitioning between treatments, safety can become a concern. Patients may be at risk of fragmented care, adverse drug reactions, and medication errors. To be an active partner in health care, people need the right information to use medications safely.

The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Society for Hospital Pharmacists have collaborated to develop a set of five questions to help patients and caregivers start a conversation about medications to improve communications with health care providers.

What are these 5 questions?

  1. CHANGES? Have any medications been added, stopped or changed, and why?
  2. CONTINUE? What medications do I need to keep taking and why?
  3. PROPER USE? How do I take my medications, for how long?
  4. MONITOR? How will I know if my medication is working, and what side effects do I watch for?
  5. FOLLOW UP? Do I need any tests and when do I book my next visit?

It may be particularly helpful for patients to ask these questions at points of transitions of care such as doctor’s appointments, consultations with pharmacists, discharge from a hospital or visits from home care services. Remember that not all medications “get along” and to make sure to always ask these five questions whenever seeing a care provider or pharmacist. For more information and resources, visit the Canadian Patient Safety Institute website.

Canadian Patient Safety Week is relevant to everyone who engages with our healthcare system. Working together, thousands help spread the message to Ask. Listen. Talk.

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