September 2023: Why Your Medication History Matters to Your Healthcare Team

September 2023: Why Your Medication History Matters to Your Healthcare Team

Medication HistoryContributor: Katrina Berner

Providing a complete medication history to your medical team is an essential step in preventing medication errors. A comprehensive drug history includes a detailed account of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you have used. Healthcare professionals need to collect this information as it can help identify potential drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, and drug-related problems that can impact your safety and treatment outcomes.

About Medication Errors
Medication errors are a common problem in healthcare settings and can happen in various ways, from administering the wrong dose to prescribing the wrong medication. Consequences of these errors can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications. Types of medication errors and their potential consequences include the following:

  • Incorrect Dosages, which can result in:
    • Underdose
    • Overdose
    • Adverse drug reactions
    • Drug interactions
  • Administration Errors or mistakes made in administering medication, treatment, or other procedures, can result in:
    • Adverse reactions
    • Delayed treatment
    • Loss of trust
    • Increased healthcare costs
  • Medication interactions, which occur when two or more drugs interact with each other. Results include:
    • Altered effectiveness of the drugs
    • Increased risk of side effects
    • Worsening of pre-existing medical conditions
    • Organ damage or failure
    • Life-threatening complications
  • Fragmented Care Errors, which occur when there is a lack of coordination and communication among healthcare providers. Consequences include:
    • Extended hospital stays and readmissions
    • Medication errors
    • Misdiagnosis
    • Delayed care or lack of follow-up
    • Death

Women with diabetes may be at risk of medication errors because prescriptions may not be tailored to the nuances of your individual medical needs. Incorrect dosages or frequency of prescriptions and failure to identify potentially dangerous drug interactions are the most common errors. To address these issues, healthcare providers can implement electronic medical records, care coordination teams, and communication protocols to ensure patients receive comprehensive and coordinated care.

Online Resources for Prescribing Information
The availability of prescribing information online has become an indispensable tool for healthcare professionals in reducing medication errors. With the advent of the internet, prescribers now have access to a vast range of information that can be easily retrieved and used to make informed decisions about medication choices. Your medical team may have online resources or portals available for your records.

A thorough and accurate drug history is integral to your care and should not be overlooked or underestimated.


Katrina Berner

Katrina Berner is a Health Information Technician at Pregnant Due, where she brings a wealth of expertise in managing and safeguarding critical medical information. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for ensuring the highest standards of patient care, she is committed to maintaining accurate and confidential health records. Her role at Pregnant Due allows her to play a vital part in supporting expectant mothers and their healthcare journey, ensuring they receive the best possible care during this transformative time.