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Medication Management

Medication Management: Coping with Multiple Medications

Medication management consists of monitoring your medication regimen to guarantee that you are taking the correct dosage of medication at the prescribed times. It also used to protect you from harmful drug interactions and dangerous side-effects. If you take multiple medications for various chronic illnesses, injuries, psychological disorders and/or diseases, it is important that you effectively manage your medication intake.

Medication management is extremely beneficial for older adults, who take a variety of medications for an array of psychological and medical conditions.Some hospitals, clinics, psychiatric hospitals, mental illness treatment centers, drug and alcohol treatment centers and nursing homes provide medication management services to those who need it. These services are beneficial if you have a lot of medications to take at various times of the day.

Medical Managers

Medication managers can help you effectively manage multiple drugs and prevent you from missing a dose, taking too much of a medication, and ingesting a drug that may interact with another drug that you are already taking. Medication managers organize and manage your medication regimen for you.

Medical managers are also responsible for keeping up-to-date with your new medications, informing you of any possible drug interactions and side-effects, answering any questions that you may have concerning your medications, ensuring that you are taking the proper dosage for you age and condition, discussing medication-related options and offering guidance and support.

Medical managers are responsible for the following tasks:

Keeping Track of Medications: An important part of medication management is accurately documenting your medications (prescribed, supplements and over-the-counter). Your medical manager writes down the dosages, frequency, possible side-effects and dangerous drug interactions. The documentation is then placed in your patient record.

Monitoring Medications: Medication management also consists of supervising your medications. You may need to take your medications at certain times of the day and if you miss a dose or you take too much, it can cause serious side-effects and complications. Medication managers remind you to take your medication at the correct times, place your medications in daily reminder containers and/or observe you as you take your daily medications. In some cases, medical devices can remind you to take your medications at the proper times.

Checking for Drug Interactions: Medication management also consists of checking for dangerous drug interactions and making sure that you are taking the correct medications for your condition(s). This may include reminding you when to take your medications with food, what foods or supplements must not be taken with your medications and what medications may cause drowsiness or impaired functioning. 

Keeping Detailed Patient Records: Another key component of medication management is keeping detailed patient records. A variety of integrated databases help manage your medications. Your doctor’s office records your medical history including your medications in their computer system, while your local pharmacy monitors your prescriptions and informs you of any possible drug interactions and/or side-effects. Your physician, pharmacist and medication manager work together to ensure that you will not be harmed by the medications.

Medication Management Appointments

Medication management appointments are typical brief (lasting between 15-30 minutes). During the appointment your physician asks you a variety of medication-related questions such as: What side-effects have you experienced? Do you think that the medication is working? How do you feel treatment is progressing? In addition, you may be asked to schedule follow-up blood tests to make sure that the medications are working properly within your body.

References:

Curry, W., Linney, B. J. & Curry, W. (2011). Essentials of medical    management (2nd ed.). Tampa, FL: American College of     Physician Executives.

United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics.         (2013).Medical and health services managers: Occupational    outlook handbook. Retrieved from         http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-        services-managers.htm#tab-2. 


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