Helping the patient journey with medicines bag
Date: 25 October 2016
Our south-west Essex staff have teamed up with Basildon University Hospital to help ensure a patient’s medicines are where they need to be.
To help make it easier for people using medication to remember to take them to hospital, they are being given green bags to put their medicines in which will be provided if they’re being admitted by ambulance.
A green bag can hold several packs of medication in their original boxes and, if a patient needs to stay in hospital, have a space for a patient details label. The bag will stay with the patient in the same way as their personal property.
Duty Locality Officer Brad Lane has been working with the hospital’s Medicine Management Nurse Emily Harris. He said: “This is a simple but hopefully effective idea which came about in our regular discussions about improving the patient’s care. It can be easy to forget medication in the midst of being visited by an ambulance crew, and it’s also helpful for our staff to see quickly what the patient has and to keep it secure for them on the journey.”
Emily added: “When patients come to hospital for an appointment, or as in inpatient, it is important for staff to know exactly what medicines are already being taken, and the dose. They also need to know about any natural remedies the patient takes regularly. This is so that if they need to prescribe further medication they can check whether it is safe to do so alongside the patient’s current medication, or if changes are needed.
“If a patient comes into A&E who has a long term condition, it might be that they already take many types of medication each day. To find out what the medications are, and in what dose, from a patient who is very unwell can be difficult and take time. If we have their medicines to hand this can help avoid delays and missed doses.”
Emily continues: “The green medicine bag scheme isn’t a new idea; it has been used in some other parts of the UK for a while. We hope that by letting our patients know how bringing their medicines to hospital with them can help staff to provide them with safer care, they will remember to grab their green bags before they leave home.”
Staff from south-west Essex have teamed up with Basildon University Hospital to help ensure patient’s medicines are where they need to be.