The healthcare system we live in is getting more and more complex. The days of seeing one physician for all health needs are over. Seniors today are now balancing several specialist physicians, some of whom do not fully communicate with one another. The lack of communication is due to lack of integrated documentation systems, lack of provider time, and also lack of communication from patients themselves.
A study from Medco Health Solutions, Inc., found that seniors receiving prescriptions from two different physicians filled an average of 27 prescriptions in a year and were at risk for 10 potential prescription drug errors. However, when the care team consisted of five doctors, the number of prescriptions filled in one year jumped to 42, and the number of potential drug errors jumped to 16 (a 60-percent increase).
It is easy to slip through the cracks in our complicated healthcare system. Lack of communication is a serious problem in our healthcare system today. It is shocking to know that as many as 30% of hospital admissions in older adults are medication related1.
What can we do to ensure our well-being, and the wellbeing of the aging adults in our healthcare system today?
- A day or two prior to the appointment, write down any questions or concerns you have for your physician, this will make it easier when you’re in the appointment to remember all your concerns.
- Always tell the doctor you’re seeing what medications you are currently taking; write those down for your appointment. Also write down the name of the doctor who prescribed the medication.
- Take notes on what the doctor says.
- Ask the doctor if any of the medications that he or she prescribes will interact in a negative way with medications that you’re taking as prescribed by other doctors.
- Finally, if you’re confused about anything, make sure you ask your doctor to explain it again.
By Your Side Care Management can assist with these steps and can also help you ask your physician the right questions to get the best answers. By Your Side Care Management can also assist by keeping track of your physicians, medications, and ensure communication between your care team. Our commitment is to your loved one, we offer 24/7 availability for emergency needs or crisis management – rest assured we will be there, ensuring your loved one’s care needs are met while updating you as needed. By Your Side Care Management will also provide complete medication reconciliation by going through each medication, reviewing it with the physician(s) involved and thus ensuring medications are correct.
By Your Side Care Management will then address any special needs if an aging adult is forgetting to take medications or is taking extra/inappropriate medications. By Your Side Care Management works with the aging adult to direct any concerns to the appropriate party while keeping the senior safe and their family and any care providers updated. By Your Side Care Management has trained and experienced care managers who will advocate to remove barriers to care, including assistance with obtaining insurance reimbursement, reviewing medical records, and providing referrals to needed care resources.
1.) Source: NCBI