Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

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Patient Education: Home Care – Teaching Medication Self-Administration

What Is Teaching Medication Self-Administration in Home Care? › Teaching medication self-administration in home care is the process of teaching patients

to safely and independently take their prescribed medications in the home environment. Medication self-administration involves having the patient follow the five “rights” of medication administration: right patient (i.e., self), right medication, right dose, right time, and right route • What: Teaching medication self-administration in home care typically involves

educating and verifying that the patient understands –the name of the medication, its mechanism of action, and what it is used for –correct dose –correct timing of administration –correct route of administration (e.g., oral or via subcutaneous injection) and the proper

technique for self-administering the drug –potential adverse effects and potential interactions with other medication, food, and

supplements –appropriate storage –the importance of communicating information about medication that is currently being Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

taken to healthcare clinicians, including both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications

• How: A variety of teaching/learning and motivational activities (e.g., face-to-face instruction, telephone communication, written materials, computer-mediated programs) can be utilized to support patients and family members in learning about medication self-administration –Combined strategies (e.g., face-to-face communication and providing a written

pamphlet) have been shown to be more beneficial than verbal instruction only –For patients with a complex medication regimen, offering information in more than one

session allows the patient to process smaller amounts of information and avoid feeling overloaded with information Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

• Where: Teaching about medication self-administration in home care occurs in the home environment. In some cases, teaching might begin in an ambulatory care setting (e.g., the treating clinician’s office) or prior to discharge from the hospital or a long-term care facility –Patients should receive consistent educational information in all healthcare settings and

in the home throughout the course of patient care • Who: Patient teaching about medication self-administration in home care is provided by

healthcare professionals (e.g., registered nurses, pharmacists, physicians) and should not be delegated to assistive staff members

What Is the Desired Outcome of Teaching Medication Self- Administration in the Home? › Education about medication self-administration can empower patients and allow them to

• understand the name, dose, route, timing, and purpose of each prescribed medicine

• build confidence and skills necessary for successful medication self-administration (e.g., filling pill organizers, drawing up insulin, using safe injection techniques, properly disposing of syringes, using aerosol delivery systems correctly, using cues to promote proper timing of medications, properly storing medication) Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

• observe for adverse effects of medication when taken with specific other medications, foods, or supplements and seek medical assistance as needed

• engage in lifestyle changes to decrease risk for complications (e.g., maintaining a consistent intake of vitamin K when taking warfarin, regularly checking EPINEPHrine expiration dates, wearing a medical alert bracelet when taking high-risk medications)

• recognize the importance of communicating information about medications that are currently being taken, including prescription and OTC medications, to healthcare professionals and participate in shared decision making about medication self-administration

• cope with the psychosocial and emotional aspects of having an illness that requires medication and adhering to a prescribed medication regimen Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

Why Is Teaching Medication Self-Administration Important in Home Care? › Teaching home care patients how to correctly take their own medications helps to promote safe, cost-effective delivery of

medications; self-administrationof medications is an important component of self-care › Errors in medication self-administration can lead to decreased symptom control, increased risk for severe health issues, and a

greater number of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home placement, and can significantly increase healthcare costs for preventable complications

› Patient education is required by The Joint Commission (TJC), and medication safety is an integral part of TJC Home Care National Patient Safety Goals. The home care nurse is required to provide patients with written information on medications that are being taken in the home care setting and to educate about their role in providing information about the medications they are taking (e.g., giving a list of current medications to the treating clinician, serially updating the list, carrying medication information in the event of an emergency) (TJC, 2018) Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

Facts and Figures › Children are at increased risk for having problems with managing medication. In a study of children receiving medications

for asthma,the following were the most common areas of risk (Wilson et al., 2015): • Responsibility in medication administration (i.e., the degree to which the patient takes his/her medication); researchers

reported that about 39% of children take their medication “all of the time,” 7% take their medication “quite a bit of the time,” and 46% are at high risk for not taking responsibility for taking their medication

• Wellbeing of the child’s caregiver, particularly related to coping and stress management • The child’s well-being, including his/her behaviors and emotions • Medication adherence

› A multidisciplinary work group at Johns Hopkins Health System developed and implemented a post discharge home-based, pharmacist-provided medication management service. This service not only enhanced continuity from hospital to home, it ensured that pharmacists identified and resolved medication discrepancies, educated patients about their medications, and provided primary clinicians and community pharmacists with a complete and reconciled medication list. While prevention of readmissions was not a targeted outcome of the project, only 8% of patients who received the service were readmitted within 30 days. On average, the readmission rate for similar patients in the same hospital was 16–17% (Pherson et al., 2014)

› Improper use of dry powder inhalers can result in an insufficient amount of the drug being deposited in the lungs. In a study of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, educational handouts were given to help patients who were already using inhalers. Researchers found that the handouts alone were effective in improving inhaler technique; vision and health literacy did not impact on the patients’ inabilities to learn proper technique (Alsomali et al., 2017) Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

› Prescription opioid abuse is epidemic. Opioid diversion to family members and friends is a major source of abused prescription opioids. Nurses play a key role in reversing this opioid abuse by providing essential anticipatory guidance each time a patient receives a medication prescription (Manworren et al., 2015)

› In Spain, researchers studied 45 patients with infective endocarditis (IE) who self-administered parenteral antibiotics in a “hospital-in-home” (HIH) environment. During each self-administration session, a nurse or treating clinician briefly visited the patient. The rate of inpatient readmission was 12.5% and no patients died while in the HIH program (Pajarón et al., 2015)

› In a study of 23,614 patient records, researchers concluded that when patients with a high risk for adverse reactions and a slow immunotherapy buildup phase were excluded, systemic reaction (SR) rates during home immunotherapy were significantly lower than SR rates during office-basedimmunotherapy (Schaffer et al., 2015)


› When prescribing oral cancer agents, clinicians must be aware of factors that affect adherence; these include side effects, forgetfulness, beliefs about medication necessity, established routines for medication self-administration, social support, ability to fit medications in lifestyle, cost, and medication knowledge. Depression and negative expectations can also negatively influence adherence (Irwin et al., 2015)

› In a qualitative study of mental healthcare professionals, researchers found that although health professionals recognize that treatment adherence is a major issue, they frequently do not use evidence-based interventions to address the problem. The researchers concluded that it is necessary for clinicians to challenge their own pre-existing beliefs about treatment adherence to more effectively help patients manage medications (Brown et al., 2015) Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

What You Need to Know Before Teaching a Patient about Medication Self- Administration in the Home Care Setting › Prior to initiating medication self-administration, the nurse must carefully assess the patient’s ability to safely self-administer

medication. This is often determined using subjective judgment, including subjectively judging the patient’s knowledge of each medication, cognitive ability to follow instructions, ability to read medication labels and package inserts, manual dexterity needed to administer the prescribed medications, ability to administer each medication, and ability to recognize adverse effects and report them to the treating clinician • The Self-Administration of Medication (SAM) tool used to assess a patient’s ability to self-administer medications offers

consistency in evaluation, can be completed in a short time, and is more objective than the perceptions of healthcare clinicians. Other similar tools are available

• Assessing medication self-administration abilities in stroke patients is particularly important. Stroke patients might not be aware of their cognitive deficits and can overestimate their competence related to medication self-administration

› TJC’s focus on medication safety requires that home care nurses accurately and completely reconcile medications in the home environment. This process includes comparing current and newly ordered medicines, communicating about medications with the next clinician who will provide patient care, giving a written list of the patient’s medicines to the patient and family,and educating the patient and family about the list (TJC, 2018). To improve medication safety, TJC suggests that patients should adopt the following: • Properly discarding old or outdated medications (for information about safe disposal of medicines, refer to the

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Web site at BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/default.htm)

• Bringing all prescription and OTC medicines and supplements to physician office visits or to a local pharmacy for review • Carrying a list of the names and numbers of healthcare providers and pharmacies used • Carrying a list of all prescription medications and OTC medications and supplements that are currently being taken with

dosages, special instructions, and known allergies › Patients should be taught basic information about drug safety in the home such as the importance of Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

• keeping drugs in their original, labeled containers • finishing a prescribed medication (e.g., an antibiotic) unless instructed otherwise • not saving drugs for future use and not giving them to another person • keeping drugs out of reach of children • storing medicines at proper temperatures (e.g., refrigerate as needed, store in a clean and dry area, keep away from extreme

temperatures) • reading medication labels carefully and following all instructions • being aware of look-alike, sound-alike drugs

› Home care patients with a complex medication regimen should be taught strategies for organizing their medications and establishing a system of cues for taking them at specific times (e.g., posting a schedule on the refrigerator; creating a medication calendar with pictures of the pills; having someone send text reminders to take medicines; using a self-administration medication documentation sheet to keep track of administration; using pill boxes, egg cartons, or cupcake tins to organize medications; using color-coded sections to designate specific days and times Patient Teaching Plan for medication safety at home.

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