Guess who's at my hospital this week...JCAHO...ooohh, scary words in healthcare...lol. JCAHO is the Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations (or something like that). We've been preparing for months for them to show up & they are finally here. They follow you around, watch what is going on, ask questions...anyone working in the hospital is fair game...even doctors. If they find something out of sorts, expect a large fine to follow. We've heard all kinds of rumors...such as a doctor not knowing what to do in the event of a fire & the hospital was fined $75,000 or not being able to unlock a bathroom door quickly which brought about another huge fine. Basically...they are people I don't want to be around. Because I know for me....I know the information as long as no one is directly asking. As soon as someone says "What is so & so?"...I go blank. It's like this also when I go to Blockbuster or a music store. I will have the movie or cd that I want memorized in my head, but as soon as I walk through the door...it's gone. What did I come in here for??? Sooooo, lucky for me, I'm not scheduled this week & I plan to leave it that way. I've been enjoying my time off anyways. I'll make up for it next week.
I'm sitting here reading Advance for Nurses...which is a pretty good little magazine (if you want a free subscription...go here...http://nursing.advanceweb.com/ & follow the link for a free subscription. There is an article in here regarding Medication Reconciliation. This is something new we've been doing at our hospital for quite a few months. I've been fighting it the entire way because it is too confusing, too frustrating & the patients don't understand it either. I think a lot of the nurses I work with were/are resistant to it...mostly because the doctors aren't very cooperative & the forms aren't really people friendly. It's getting better though because I think we all are starting to understand the importance of it.
And that's why I'm passing it on to all of you...basically the purpose of Medication Reconciliation is so that patients AND their families are well aware of what medications they are taking & the dosages, routes, how often, etc. What I'm passing on to anyone reading my journal is this...if you &/or your family members, friends, relatives, etc are on medications....write down the name, dosage, how often it's taken & make copies of it. Put one in your car, in your purse, give copies to your family members, friends...anyone that would most likely be at your side should you end up in the ER or admitted to the hospital. Because again, if you're anything like me, this important information is erased from my memory as soon as someone directly asks me. I've seen many patients end up admitted not having any clue what medication they take. They always seem to describe it as "a little white pill that I take twice a day." Ok, there are zillions of little white pills...it helps to know which one specifically.
So I'm putting it out there to save you or your family members the frustration, embarrassment or even worse....having important medications automatically stopped simply because no one knows what they are on to begin with. Write it down, put it in a good spot & don't forget where that good spot is (like I sometimes do...lol). :)