While we want our providers to address our health problems and concerns, it is important to realize that in today’s ever-changing health care environment, we must take ownership over our own health care. Our wellness is really a co-partnership between our providers and ourselves.
To enhance your visit to your doctor, it is recommended that you bring a complete medication list to every visit. A sample list and organizational format is provided below for your information can be used to make your visit more effective.
It is commonplace for a patient to arrive at a doctor’s office without a complete list of medications, and advise the doctor, “Well Doc, it’s a green pill its name sounds like…” or “Doc, I know I couldn’t breathe when I took something and I don’t know what it was for but can you still prescribe me something?”
It is critical that each patient is also equipped with a list of any and all allergies they have and the type of reaction they had to each medication. This is extremely important because not all “allergies” are allergies and some are merely intolerances. Having an “allergy to everything” may limit a patient’s treatment options and path to wellness if they are not truly allergic to a medication. If you have a reaction to a medication, list the name of the medication and what occurred. Let your doctors decide if it is a true allergy or and intolerance.
We also recommend that you notify all of your providers as well as your pharmacist of the medication reactions you have experienced. This will help your providers prescribe with greater ease in the future and bring about awareness of your individual unique medical history. It is especially important to note if the allergic reaction involved a skin rash or shortness of breath. This implies the allergic reaction is more serious and needs to be noted in all of your medical records.
Every medication list should be fully labeled with a patient’s full first name, last name and date of birth. This can function as the header to the documentation provided to the healthcare provider. This will insure your valuable medication list gets attached to the correct patient’s chart to avoid potential threatening medication errors
SAMPLE MEDICATION LIST FOR FRED A. FOOT DOB 01/01/01
1 tablet daily
1 tablet 3 times daily
ALLERGIES – Type of Reaction/Allergy – List reaction to each medication listed
PHARMACY – List pharmacy phone number, name and address
Physicians – To enhance communication amongst all physicians, we recommend you list the full names of all your physicians including your primary care physician and all consulting physicians. This should contain the full name and phone numbers of all your treating physicians.
Contacts – List who you would like to be contacted in case of emergencies as well as their current phone number. This may also include your medical or financial power of attorney if you have one.