(EFFINGHAM, IL) – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is making a policy change involving self-administered medications to enhance the safety and quality of care for patients who use their services. Self-administered medications include prescription, over-the-counter oral and topical medications such as Tylenol® and eye drops that the patient takes at home.
Effective June 1, 2019, all St. Anthony’s patients – whether using outpatient services or within the hospital as an observation patient or inpatient – will no longer be allowed to provide and self-administer their own medications.
Director of Pharmacy Rob Runde, RPh, explained why the hospital is changing their policy on this matter. “Patient safety is our number one priority. To ensure the safety of all our patients, we ask that patients – inpatient or outpatient – not bring prescription or other medications from outside our facility to be taken during their stay. This is a standard practice in many hospitals nationwide,” he said. “If patients need medications while they are in the hospital, we will talk with their doctor and they will receive these medications from the hospital pharmacy. By having all patient medications come from our hospital pharmacy, we can ensure patients receive the right medication in the right dose at the right time. Plus, for added safety, all medications have a bar code that is scanned by the nurse at the time of being administered so it is documented in the patient medical record,” he explained.
In order to ensure that the hospital can confirm what medications that a patient takes, people are asked to bring their medications from home if possible when being admitted for a hospital stay or outpatient visit. These medications will be entered into the patient’s electronic medical record and returned to the patient to have a family member return to their home, so that a patient does not accidentally take them on their own while in the hospital.
Special Note for those on Medicare
For people who participate in Medicare Part B or Part D, it is important that they have a heightened awareness of the change due to how Part B and D reimburse for self-administered medications. Many resources are available to help the patients understand eligibility, financial assistance or reimbursement for prescription medications under Medicare.
Medicare – 800-633-4227
Office of Consumer Health Insurance – 877-527-9431
Effingham City/County Agency on Aging (Medicare Part B) – 800-283-4070
Med Assist at Effingham Catholic Charities – 217-857-1458
HSHS St. Anthony’s Business Office Cashier – 217-347-1205
Dr. Ryan Jennings, St. Anthony’s chief medical officer, will be addressing this topic along with other important safety issues for senior citizens at a Lunch and Learn entitled “Reliability Saves Lives” on Thursday, June 6 at 11 a.m. at Senior Services of Effingham County, 209 South Merchant. Lunch is being provided so those interested in attending should call 217-347-5569 to make your reservation.