According to the information available in the Joint Commission’s medication reconciliation safety goal, it is important for any home care giving agency or a professional top provide proper and on time medication to the care recipients, whether young or old. Especially when care is given to the older patients, proper and on-time medication is very important to assure by the home caregiver because then tend to forget to take it quite often and easily.
According to the rule, the home care giver should document the medication process including the following:
Both prescription as well as nonprescription medications required and provided
- The medical conditions of the patient
- Any allergies of the patient
- The dietary habits and restrictions and most importantly
- The contact information of the healthcare providers in case of any emergency contact requirements.
This precise and proper document will enable the current home care giver as well as those to follow or newly appointed to follow the same regime and reconcile matters much more easily. This will enable the physician to know whether or not everything is progressing as desired, any changes are needed to make and whether the health care assistant jobs are being done properly.
Developing A Plan
Apart from documenting the medication process, the home care agency should also develop a proper plan to provide the medication and in case of any issues with the home care and medicationdiscrepancies, address it readily.
A carefully designed plan should include the policies and procedures that needs to be created for documenting and addressing the issues that may arise during medication reconciliation.
In short, this will enable the home care agencies to provide the best home care and follow the most interprofessional approach for that matter.
Evaluating The Effectiveness
Without a proper plan followed and the entire process documented properly, it is almost unlikely for the home care giver to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the care process, especially the effects of the medications on the patients.
It is only when the medication reconciliation process is formalized it will be able to meet the need of assessing the effectiveness of the process properly on a regular basis. There are a few specific mechanisms that should be used for conducting such evaluation.
- You can interview all those home healthcare providers who are involved in the medication reconciliation process. This will help you to assess their understanding of the overall process. It will also help you to adjudge how each of them is playing their role as ascertained.
- You can inquire about each step of the process, the purpose of it as well as the responsibilities of the care givers within each of these steps. This will help you to know whether or not any specific step is missed, misunderstood or needs to be revisited.
- You can alternatively have a random chart review as well to determine whether or not there is any unreconciled medications. This can be easily calculated by considering the number of unreconciled medications and dividing it by the total number of medications to be taken.
All these evaluations will show the weak points, if any, in the process that needs education or a change. This will ensure that the medication reconciliation process is working just the way it is designed to work. You can also look at the framework of the care model and find the areas that needs to be remodified and used for improvement of quality initiatives.
Importance Of Interprofessional Care
After you have done and dealt with the different areas of medication reconciliation, you should now know about theinterprofessional care and emphasize on the importance of it.
Ideally, interprofessional collaboration and teamwork are most important for an effective medication reconciliationboth within the home healthcare agency as well as the external care providers and organizations.
Usually, nurses are the primary care provider who are responsible for providing medication to the patients as well as its reconciliation especially in the home healthcare setting. This process can be enhanced even further with an access to pharmacist providing matching expertise to role of the nurses primarily within the home healthcare agency as well as in a e community setting.
- This will help in direct patient care taking it up to the next higher level.
- When a pharmacist is integrated into the medication reconciliation processes, it becomes all the more effective to reduce the need of hospitalizations from a home care setting.
- It is also true that the physicians are more receptive to medication changesthat are typically suggested by a pharmacist as opposed to the suggestions made by a nurse.
However, the cost factor may act as a barrier to a pharmacist being a staff within a home care agency. Several studies have shown that the cost savings resulting from the integration of a pharmacist may mitigate this issue.
Each home care agency therefore should identify when exactly the expertise and intervention of a pharmacist is required and will be useful. Ideally, these times include:
- When it is required to evaluate high risk patients
- When the older patient is used to take a large number of medications and
- When patients take on medications with a very narrow therapeutic index.
It means that there are lots of benefits in establishing a relationship with the healthcare providers and care settings to and from which patients transfer frequently. This type of relationship can help in developing standardized forms useacross different settingsand situations. At the least, it can help in streamlining communicationsduring the consultations as and when needed.
This will ensure that all information and facts are provided and clarified so that the home care providers can start transmitting a reconciled list of medications on a regular basis to the primary care provider of the patient as well as to the community pharmacist.
Therefore, in order to ensure that there is a proper medication reconciliation at all times, it is very essential to follow an interprofessional care approach. The pharmacist, for that matter, happens o be the best person in this profession.