Bite-sized Learning - changes to patients' medicines

Sometimes a patient's medication has to be changed to help treat their condition so it is important to discuss this with them at their appointment, as well as explaining the potential side-effects.

This week's learning comes from an incident when a patient attended an outpatient appointment, but left unclear as to what medication was being put in place to help treat their condition. This had not been discussed at their appointment, and it also meant the patient was unaware of the potential side effects, or how to administer the medication.

There was also a delay in having the prescription signed-off and sent to pharmacy, which contributed to this patient's experience not being as good as it could have been.

The learning from this is:

  • Clearly explain the rationale behind any changes to medication
  • Ensure the patient is aware of any potential side effects and how to adminster
  • Check the patient's understanding before they leave CHFT
  • Extra staff cover is provided (where there are absences) to reduce any delays in prescribing