Pharmacy specialist Dr. Shah works with patient on medication safety
Written by Stephanie Bale, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

Safety Starts With Me – Stories to educate patients and staff about the steps to keep patients safe while in the hospital.

Clinical pharmacy specialist Dr. Kieran Shah knows first-hand the importance of encouraging patients like Andrew Paterson to take an active role in his own care planning. This includes being informed about his medicines to help prevent medication errors when prescribed, dispensed or administered. 

“We want patients to be fully involved in their health care planning. This includes asking questions about their medicines as a valuable extra check in the medication cycle,” Dr. Shah explained.

“Speaking with patients at their bedside to review all of their medications helps to ensure we are optimizing the effectiveness and safety of their medicines.” 

Medication tips to help keep your patients safe:

  • Ask patients to show you their full list of medicines when they arrive at the hospital. This includes vitamins, herbal and non-prescription products. 
  • Ask your patient if they have allergies or side effects from their medicines. 

  • Ask your patient their name, birth date and check their armband before administering medication. 

  • Encourage your patients and their family caregiver to know the names and purpose for each prescribed medicine and to ask questions if they are uncertain.
  • Help your patient plan for their return home and advise them not to take any of their medicines at home without talking to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist. 
  • Apply the Seven Safety Checks or Rights at all points when prescribing, preparing and administering medicines.

Together we can prevent medication errors and keep our patients safe.

This story is part of the Safety Starts With Me series to educate patients and staff about the steps to keep patients safe while in the hospital.

Watch for the Safety Starts With Me public education campaign coming soon on our social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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