One important element in coordinating care is reconciling medications that clients may be getting from different providers. A “brown bag review” affords physicians the opportunity to identify and/or avoid medication errors, harmful drug interactions and inadvertent polypharmacy. It also assists clients in taking their medications correctly and gives them the opportunity to ask questions and verify what they should and should not be taking.
The review simply involves asking patients to bring all the medications they are taking — both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies — to their doctor to discuss. Tips for this practice, including helpful questions to pose, is provided by the North Carolina Program on Health Literacy.
The following forms may be useful in reviewing and documenting the clients’ medication:
- Medication Review Form
- Napa Medication Reconciliation Form, courtesy of the Napa Integrated Health Care Project
- Primary Care Visit Form, courtesy of the Napa Integrated Health Care Project
Suggested questions for patients to ask their providers about their medication are given in ASK Your Pharmacist (courtesy of the Ohio Pharmacist Ass’n) courtesy of the Ohio Pharmacist Association)