Your Health Care Team • Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals • Nurses • Pharmacists Use the link below for a medical record form to keep track of your doctors and pharmacy. www.mlanet.org/resources/consumers_senior/ your_meds_playing_it_safe.pdf
Play it Safe Tips • Give your health care team important information • Get the facts about your medicine • Stay with your treatment plan • Keep a record of your medicines
1. Give your health care team important information Tell your health care team about: • Prescription medication • Medicines you can buy without a prescription (aspirin, antacids, laxatives, or cough medicine) • Vitamins and dietary supplements (St. John’s Wort or gingko biloba) Use the medical record form below to keep track of your doctors and pharmacy. www.mlanet.org/resources/consumers_senior/your_meds_playing_it_safe.pdf
Also tell your team about: • Medicine allergies or if you’ve had problems with a medicine in the past • Other doctors who have prescribed medicine for you or have suggested you take vitamins or herbal supplements • Other illnesses or medical conditions • Cost concerns
2. Get the facts about your medicine • Be informed • Read the prescription • Know what your medicine is for • Ask Questions • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist • Write down questions before your appointment Use the attached medical record form to keep track of your doctors and pharmacy.
Tips • Write down your questions • Take notes • Bring a friend or family member • Try to use the same pharmacy • Read and save patient information • Keep a list • Make a copy of your list • Use the attached form to keep track of your medications and supplements
3. Stay With Your Treatment Plan • Take all your medications • Ask your doctor about refills • Tell your doctor about side effects • Never give your prescription medicine to others • Ask if you need tests to find out if your medicine is working
Tips – You Can Get Help • Nurses • Friends and Family can: • Visit the doctor with you • Talk to a pharmacist for you • Call you to remind you to take your medicine • Keep a record of what you take and when you take it
4. Keep a Record of Your Medicines • Keeping a detailed record of your medications is important to you and your health care team • Use the attached form to keep track of your medications and supplements Source: Your Medicine: Play it Safe. Patient Guide. AHRQ Publication No. 03-0019, February 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, and the National Council on Patient Information and Education, Bethesda, MD. http://www.ahrg.gov/consumer/safemeds/safemeds.htm (accessed August 2, 2006.
What Makes Health Information “Good”? And where can I find it?
Medical Resources on the Web • Medical websites can be: • Valuable • Unreliable or have missing information • Some simple questions can help you know the difference between “good” and “bad” medical websites.
10 Things to Know about Evaluating Medical Resources on the Web • Who runs the site? • Who pays for the site? • What is the purpose of the site? • Where does the information come from? • What is the basis of the information?
How is the information selected? • How current is the information? • How does the site choose links to other sites? • What information about you does the site collect and why? • How does the site manage interactions with visitors? Source: NCCAM Publication No. D142 http://nccam.nih.gov/health/webresources/, created February 19, 2002, accessed August 7, 2006.
Health Information on the Internet: Where do I begin? • Medline Plus • Medline Plus: Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information • Maintained by the Federal Government • Free • Remember, always discuss any new information with a health care professional
Getting a Prescription Quick Tips
Questions to Ask When You are Prescribed a New Medication • What is the name of the medicine? • What is it supposed to do? • Is it okay to substitute a less-expensive generic medicine? • What is the dose? • Are there possible side effects? • How many refills do I get?
More Questions… • What should I do If I miss a dose? • What should I do if I accidentally take more than the recommended dose? • Is there any written information I can take home with me?
Give the Doctor this information when he provides a new medication: • Names of all your medications • Any concerns you have • If you are allergic to any medication • If you have any side effects from a medication that has been prescribed to you
Follow-Up Appointment Questions • Any problems you are having • Any side effects • Any new prescriptions you have started taking • How you are feeling since you have started the medication Source: Quick Tips – When Getting a Prescription. AHRQ Publication No. 01-0040c, May 2002. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrg.gov/consumer/quicktips/tippresearch.htm (accessed August 2, 2006)