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Medication management is the process of staying up-to-date on the medications you are taking. The term “medication” refers to any prescribed, over-the-counter, dietary supplements, vitamins, herbals, or other substances you are taking to help manage or maintain your health.[1]

Why is it important?

Over 60% of seniors have multiple chronic conditions and nearly 20% of seniors take at least 10 medications per week. Managing your medications may be challenging, however, it is important to do this to ensure your safety. Nearly 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur in the U.S. each year and many are caused by medication errors, adverse drug interactions, and the inappropriate use of medications.[2]

 

How can I manage my medications?

  1. Know Them
    • Take all of the medications you are taking (prescribed and over-the-counter) or bring a list of the medications you are taking to your doctor visits.[3]
    • Talk to your Primary Care Provider and Specialists about the medications you are taking and throw out any expired medications.[4]
    • Write down any changes to your medication regimen.

 

  1. Have a Schedule
    • Create a schedule to help you manage the medications you are taking.
    • Use pill boxes to prepare your medications in advance.
    • Set alarms to remind you when to take your medications. [5]

 

  1. Ask Questions
    • If you are unsure about any medications please call your Primary Care Provider or Pharmacist! [6]

 

Click on Sample Medication List to download


Sources: 

[1] Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Implementation Quick Start Guide Medication Management. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-family-engagement/pfeprimarycare/medmanage_quickstartfull.pdf
[2] National Committee for Quality Assurance. (2018). HEDIS 2018 (Vol. 1).
[3] Agency for Health Research and Quality. (2017, April 05). Medication Management Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-family-engagement/pfeprimarycare/interventions/medmanage.html
[4]Agency for Health Research and Quality. Medication Management: Sample Process for Medication Management Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-family-engagement/pfeprimarycare/medication-mgmt-sample-process.pdf
[5] Agency for Health Research and Quality. (2015, February 05). Help Patients Remember How and When to Take Their Medicine: Tool #16. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/literacy-toolkit/healthlittoolkit2-tool16.html
[6] United States Food and Drug Administration. Resources for You – Be an Active Member of Your Health Care Team. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079480.htm
[7] Agency for Health Research and Quality. (2017, August 01). Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe. (with wallet card). Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/tips-and-tools/walletform.html

 

 

Dr. Larry Wu

About Dr. Larry Wu

Larry Wu, MD is a regional medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and provides consultative services for employee health solutions, prevention, chronic disease, care management, medical expense and utilization management. He is a family physician with over 20 years in clinical practice, has served as clinic director in the Indian Health Service, Kaiser Permanente and Duke Family Medicine and currently maintains a part-time clinical practice.

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