America’s Medicine Cabinet “Use Medicines Safely” Campaign : In addition to the resources listed below, this site includes slide presentation on Health Literacy. Although developed primarily for community pharmacists, the materials can be used by any health professional conducting community project on safe medication use.
The tools developed for this campaign were made possible through a grant from the Community Pharmacy Foundation and involving collaboration between the Institute for Safe Medications Practices (ISMP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Components of the campaign include:
- Presentation to Consumers: a PowerPoint presentation with speaker’s notes for delivery by pharmacists to consumer audiences on the safe use of medicines, including reading medication labels and following medication instructions, health literacy, medication disposal and utilizing the services provided by pharmacists. To see the presentation and speaker notes, go here.
- Patient Education Brochure: a patient education brochure on the safe use of medicines developed by ISMP. To view and download the brochure, go here.
- Call to Action: a Call to Action White Paper issued by ISMP on medication safety in the United States and the role of the pharmacist. To view or download the white paper, go here.
The Institute for Geriatric Pharmacy at The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy conducts an ongoing community project titled Using Medications Safely: A Key Ingredient to Your Health. A handout for older adults and a snapshot of the program is available on the website via video.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) “offers a wide range of resources and information to help healthcare practitioners in a variety of healthcare settings prevent errors and ensure that medications are used safely. All of the ISMP tools listed [on the Medication Safety Tools and Resources site] are free, downloadable, and easy to use. (para 1).” In addition, ISMP sponsors ConsumerMedSafety.org .
MUST Medication Use Safety Training for Seniors©, developed by The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), is a website that “provides the basics of medication safety to help older adults” and their caregivers (NCPIE, para 3). This is an excellent resource for health professions faculty. The website provides Instruction on how to use the program MUST for Seniors for educating health professionals or educators, older adults, caregivers, or community organizations. The site includes tips for best outcomes and includes Program Materials and Tools that may be used without charge. In addition, the website lists valuable resources and helpful tools for safe medication use in the geriatric population.
Personal Medication Form keeping an up-to-date list of medicines is an important strategy patients can employ to help protect them from a mistake. A personal medicine form developed by ISMP is available. This is a detailed record.
A similar community program called Vial of Life is offered by the University of New Mexico – New Mexico State University Cooperative Pharmacy Program. The “Vial of Life” is a plastic medicine bottle–just like the one you get your medications in at the pharmacy. It contains paperwork to list important medical information including health conditions, medications. allergies and emergency contacts. In the event of a medical emergency when you could not communicate, the “Vial of Life” could help save your life by providing emergency responders with the medical information they need to treat you.
The patient completes the form and places it in the vial. The vial can be kept in the refrigerator door with a “Vial of Life” sticker placed close to the front door alerting first responders that the information is there.
Patient Outreach Tools is a website sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association (AphA) whose goals are to improve medication use and advance patient care. The site includes tools and programs for community outreach.
National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)
www.talkaboutrx.org – working to advance the safe, appropriate use of medicines through enhanced communication
www.bemedwise.org – a focus on over-the-counter medication safety
www.learnaboutrxsafety.org – Medicine Safety: A Tool Kit for Families
General Resources for Older Adult
Living with multiple health problems. What older adults should know. New York: American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging; 2012 Aug. 2 p. Electronic copies: Available in Portable Document Format (PDF) from the Health in Aging Web site
American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Medication Resources for Older Adult
Drug Interaction Checker
Common Drug Interactions
Medicines Made Easy: Things you need to know about managing your medicines but were afraid to ask
From AHRQ & NCPIE: Your Medicine: BE Smart. Be Safe.
Medicines and You: A Guide for Older Adults
RxList – published and updated by WebMD with disclaimer. Links to FDA information.
Together Rx Access