What do Surveyors Expect?
Surveyors are expecting to find evidence that we are acting as our patients’ advocate by ensuring their medication regimen is safe and effective. You might think “If the doctor ordered it, it must be safe”. This is far from true. Although the patient’s physician would not intentionally order an unsafe drug regimen, there are many factors in our patients’ lives that can sabotage the physician’s intentions. What are some of these factors?
- Multiple pharmacies – many of our patients do not understand the benefits of using the same pharmacy, the most important benefit being that one pharmacy can track all of the medications ordered and alert the physician to any potential interactions or contra-indications.
- Multiple physicians – Most of our patients have more than one physician. Patients think their physicians talk and know what the other is prescribing. We know that is rarely the case. The results can be devastating to the health and welfare of our patients.
- Most of our patients are on fixed incomes – Limited resouces discourage our patients from discarding old medications. As a consequence, patients can mistakenly take medications the physician has discontinued leading to unintended duplicate drug therapy or worse, life-threatening drug interactions.
- Duplicate drug therapy – This does not just apply to brand name vs. generic. This also applies to drug classifications. Does the physician know your patient has two or three diuretics or pain medications or anti-hypertensives?
Drug regimen review starts at the admssion visit and should be on-going at all visits.
Article submitted by: Lori Velko, Director of Compliance