One of the most difficult aspects of self-care at home is medication management. Studies have found that as many as two-thirds of hospital visits for seniors are triggered by medication problems. The issue of polypharmacy — taking four or more medications — can increase the chance of an error. The typical Medicare patient leaving the hospital may have as many as 13 drugs prescribed by 2 or more physicians of different specialties and practices. Managing a large number of drugs to be taken at certain doses and times can be tricky; it’s possible to miss a dose, or not realize that an important new drug is missing from the regimen.
In some cases, the problem may be overmedication: not taking too little medicine, but too much. For one recent Residential Home Health patient who was struggling to improve while at home, RN Case Manager Louise turned to his prescriptions to find the cause. Learn how her medication assistance uncovered a common error and overhauled her patient’s outlook — and his life.