Drug Safety After Hospital Discharge

A hospital discharge is often a celebrated day when the patient, and the patient’s family, looks forward to returning home.  However, it can also be a confusing day as care for the patient, including the dispensing of medication, is transferred from hospital staff to the patient and his or her caregivers.

Research indicates that a significant percentage of people have issues after hospital discharges and that adverse drug reactions is one of the most common problems.  It may be possible to minimize potentially adverse drug reactions with good communication and clear discharge orders before you even leave the hospital.  A doctor, nurse, or pharmacist should review your current medications with you and describe what drug, and how much of each drug, to take and when to take it. You should be provided with a phone number to call in case you have questions and you should be told about potential side effects to watch for and what to do if they occur.

If you are not provided with the proper information to take your prescription drugs safely then serious medical problems may occur at home and any side effects should be immediately reported to your physicians.