Medication Safety Project: Educate Before You Medicate
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is working to help consumers prevent medication errors from potentially harming their health or the health of their families.
Did you know?
- There are at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events that occur annually in the United States.1
- Poor communication between patients and their doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers is responsible for 50 percent of all medication errors.2
- One of the challenges in reducing medication errors is obtaining accurate information when consumers present themselves for care.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is collaborating with the Dallas–Ft. Worth Hospital Council, the Dallas and Tarrant County Medical Societies, physicians, pharmacies, other insurers and organizations to promote medication safety with health care consumers.
The Medication Safety Project: Educate Before You Medicate can help consumers reduce medication errors by encouraging active communication between them and their health care providers. Keeping a list of medications they currently take and the doses of each is an easy and effective way to accomplish this. When patients visit their health care provider, such as a primary care physician, specialty care physician, nurse or pharmacist, they should review and update their medication list.
The Medication Safety Project Educate Before You Medicate will emphasize the importance for health care consumers to:
- Know what medications they are taking and why (Educate)
- Be prepared to accurately communicate their medication information to physicians and other health care providers (Communicate)
- Carry a list of the medicine they take (Participate) Two important resources are now available to help consumers achieve medication safety:
- My Medication Wallet Card—A useful place to record up-to-date information about the medicine they are taking, immunizations, emergency contact information and more. Print, cut, complete and fold for easy carrying in a wallet or purse:
- Medication Safety Brochure—Provides valuable medication safety tips for the doctor's office, pharmacy, hospital and while at home
You can help ensure medicine safety by carrying a My Medication Wallet Card, spreading the word about this vital safety topic and sharing these important resources with others.
By working across the entire spectrum of health professions, the Medicine Safety Project can achieve more knowledgeable health care consumers, increase patient safety, increase efficiency in the delivery of health care, and decrease the number of medication errors and/or adverse drug reactions.
For more information regarding drug safety, be sure to visit Be Smart. Be Well. Visitors can explore video stories about people who have personally struggled with drug safety. Learn how it affected their relationships and how they've learned to overcome it.
Be Smart. Be Well. is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield health and wellness Web site designed to raise awareness of prevalent, yet largely preventable health and safety issues such as drug safety, mental health, traumatic brain injury, caregiving, and our newest topic childhood obesity. Through interviews with medical professionals and video documentaries with individuals whose lives have been changed, Be Smart. Be Well. seeks to engage and motivate people to make smart and healthy choices.
1 Aspden, P., Wolcott, J., Bootman, J., and Cronenwett, L. eds. Preventing Medication Errors: Quality Chasm Series. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press, 2006.
2 Institute for Healthcare Improvement. "Reconcile Medications at All Transition Points." Topics: Patient Safety: Medication Systems: Changes. http://www.ihi.org