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Patient and Family Medication Education Policy

Date of Last Review: 8/7/08
SME: Director of Pharmacy



To summarize the various aspects of patient and/or family medication education formats and application within the hospital facility and at discharge.





The entire hospital facility




Patient Package Insert (PPI)
  An FDA approved patient instruction to inform patients on the safe use of a specific medication or drug entity. PPIs are considered FDA-regulated product labeling and patient distribution may or may not be required.



Medication Guides
FDA approved patient information for selected prescription drugs that pose a serious and significant public health concern. Medication Guides will be required if the FDA determines that one or more of the following circumstances exist:


Patient labeling could help prevent serious adverse effects,

The drug product has serious risk(s) (relative to benefits) of which patients should be made aware because information concerning the risk(s) could affect patients’ decision to use, or to continue to use the product,
The drug product is important to patient’s health and patient’s adherence to directions for use is crucial to the drug’s effectiveness.





A Pharmacists shall participate in the facility's patient and/or family medication education program. Pharmacists shall provide education to patients and/or their families if requested by a practitioner, required by policy, or as directed by the facility's patient and family education program.
B Pharmacists shall dispense PPI’s and medication guides in accordance with FDA regulations, when required. When required, PPI’s and medication guides shall be distributed when medications are dispensed in the the hospital. These may be provided to patients in the hospital upon request of the patient and/or family member.





Medication Education


A Pharmacists shall participate in the facility's patient and/or family medication education program. Pharmacists shall provide education to patients and/or their families if requested by a practitioner, required by policy, or as directed by the facility's patient and family education program.
B Qualified dietetics services personnel may educate patients on drug-food interactions.
C Qualified diabetes educators may educate patients on medications related to diabetes management.
D If needed, the Pharmacy Department will provide educational information to personnel involved in the provision of patient medication education.



Information Included in Patient and Family Medication Education
Patient and family medication education shall include written or verbal instruction on the importance of correct use of medications taken during the patient's stay and following discharge. Education shall include, but is not limited to:



Medication’s descriptive names

2 Mechanism of action
3 Intended benefits
4 How and when to administer the medication
5 Side effects
6 Potential for cross-sensitivities and adverse drug reactions
7 Dietary restrictions
8 Precautions
9 Contraindications
10 Significant drug food and drug drug interactions
11 Storage requirements
12 Importance of follow up monitoring
13 Compliance issues
14 The patient’s role in medication therapy management. See Appendix A for a sample patient teaching brochure.



Drug-Food Interaction Education


A Patients shall be educated on potential drug-food interactions that are well-documented, clinically significant interactions that may impact the efficacy of the medication or could otherwise result in an adverse drug event.
B Pharmacy, nursing, and nutrition services will collaboratively prepare patient education instructions for commonly prescribed medications associated with significant drug-food interactions.



Discharge Counseling


A The facility shall counsel patients and/or families on the safe, effective, and appropriate use of medications to be taken following discharge.
B Pharmacy, nursing, and/or other healthcare professionals shall collaboratively provide discharge medication counseling.



Requesting Patient Medication Education Services


A Patient education by a pharmacist may be requested in writing on the physician's order form or made verbally to a pharmacist.
B After hours, nursing services shall inform the patient of the availability of a pharmacist the next business day. Urgent questions shall be addressed by the nurse. If necessary, the nurse shall contact the pharmacist on call for further guidance in the provision of medication-related information.



Patient and Family Medication Education Formats
Patient and family medication education may be provided directly to individual patients or family members or to groups of patients or family members.


Goals of Patient and Family Medication Education
The goals of patient and family medication education include, as appropriate:



Provision of education on specific drug entities and medication classes.

B Provision of education concerning the need to take medications as ordered.
C Improved patient compliance. This may be achieved by:
  1. Anticipating predictable side effects that may interfere with the patient's normal daily living.
  2. Informing the patient of methods to minimize unavoidable effects.
  3. Encouraging attitudinal adjustments regarding medication usage.
  4. Educating chemically-dependent patients on medications that will not compromise their sobriety.

Verification of the patient’s knowledge and understanding of medication use.




Documentation of Education



Patient education shall be documented in the patient’s permanent medical record.

B Documentation shall at least include an assessment of the patient's understanding of the educational material and any required follow-up as necessary.
C The specific location of patient education documentation in the permanent medical record shall be in accordance with facility policies and procedures.



 Related Standards


The Joint Commission : National Patient Safety Goal – Requirement 3E



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Harris County Psychiatric Center University of Texas Health Science Center