Magazine article Drug Topics

ASHP Plans Campaign for Standard Patient Med List

Magazine article Drug Topics

ASHP Plans Campaign for Standard Patient Med List

Article excerpt

It's time to push for much greater use of medication lists by consumers, with a standard format for those lists, participants agreed at a recent summit hosted by ASHP. That likely means many people will use a medication list on paper before they use an electronic one, and that's OK, said about 30 representatives from organizations including the Joint Commission, AARP, and the Food & Drug Administration. The group also developed a research agenda on use of patient medication lists and laid the groundwork for a national social marketing campaign-which ASHP and the ASHP Foundation will plan in upcoming months-to enhance awareness among patients, caregivers, and professionals of the importance of such a summary.

The representatives agreed on recommended data elements for a standardized list. They identified barriers to its use as well as some potential resolutions, said Daniel J. Cobaugh, Pharm.D., research director at the ASHP Foundation. An ASHP release noted: "While many organizations have developed medication lists, there is no national standard regarding the data they should contain."

The group agreed, ASHP said, that the standardized list must be simple and include only current medicines. Among the elements participants agreed to were:

* A patient's personal information

* Details about allergies and other medicine-related problems

* Current medicines, including the amount used, frequency of use, how each is taken, and information on who prescribed or recommended the medication. Cobaugh said the list will also contain information on when it was last updated, who updated it, and instructions for its use.

Among the barriers the group identified to the list's use are professionals' and consumers' concerns about accuracy ease of use, and privacy and security, as well as problems with integrating it into healthcare work without creating a new process. Another barrier, Cobaugh said, is that of patients' perceptions that physicians and pharmacists already have the information on hand.

The group also agreed that research should test the list and how it is used to determine if it affects outcomes in therapy, safety, and economics and perhaps even qualityof-life outcomes for patients.

This campaign is a natural continuation of ASHP's continuity-of-care initiatives, the association said. In a recent white paper, the ASHP Continuity of Care Task Force said, "Deficiencies in sharing patient information are a core contributor to the discontinuity of care and a logical precursor to medical errors. …

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