Bringing a child home from CHOC just became easier. Beginning this month, our patients, and their parents, will be discharged with home medications already in hand. That’s right — no more stopping by a pharmacy thanks to a new program that improves patient safety and helps prevent hospital readmissions.
Following a successful pilot program in the CHOC Medical/Surgical units recently, the CHOC Med-to-Bed care program returns and expands services to all patients, Monday through Friday.
The family-centered care program brings an outpatient pharmacist to each patient’s bedside before discharge. There, the pharmacist provides the discharge medications to take home, discusses instructions and side effects, and provides hands-on teaching as needed.
This convenient, one-on-one service offers several advantages:
• Improves patient safety by ensuring patients go home with the medications they need.
• Reduces the possibility of errors and medication-related hospital readmissions by ensuring parents know how to correctly use the medication and manage any side effects.
• Builds patient and parent confidence through hands-on teaching for related medical equipment, including syringes and inhalers.
• Resolves any potential barriers in filling prescriptions caused by transportation, insurance authorization or payment issues.
According to medical literature, medication management errors are some leading factors in hospital readmissions. While the “med-to-bed” concept is becoming popular in hospitals across the country, CHOC is one of the first hospitals in the region to implement this program.
CHOC Pharmacy Director Grace Magedman said the pilot program was tested on the hospital’s medical/surgical units because of their high patient volume.
“Our team found the one-on-one time with patients and their parents right before discharge to be very rewarding,” she said. “We could answer questions, discuss possible side effects, and provide hands-on teaching. This helps ensure that patients are taking their medication correctly at home — and avoids a trip back to CHOC.”
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