St. Rose gives small medication cards to their patients as a tool for keeping track of their medication post-discharge.
Many of our patients have multiple chronic conditions. As such, they have to manage a lot of different medications, and these often change when they get admitted or discharged from the hospital. Our patients are also elderly, which makes keeping track of these medications very difficult. We noticed that many of our patients, upon discharge, go to their follow up doctor’s appointment and the first thing the doctor will ask is which medications they’re taking. Our patients often wouldn’t know, and the doctor would have to call the hospital to find out.
St. Rose is a non-profit hospital in Hayward, CA. It has 217 beds and serves a diverse, low-income population including Spanish, Hindi, and Tagalog speakers. Their transitions program began in 2012 and is influenced by Project RED.
What We Tried
Our quality team had created simple medication cards that could fit in a wallet. We started giving those to our patients—helping them fill it out and then reminding them to keep it updated after discharge. The cards contain the patient’s contact information, their doctor’s contact information, allergies, and their most recent medication list.
This simple solution keeps patients, the hospital, and the primary care physicians aligned as far as medication. It helps during follow up doctor’s appointments, but it’s also just good for these high risk patients to always have their medication list on hand in case of emergencies. Along with the discharge paperwork, carrying a wallet sized medication card helps patients stay organized. Ultimately, accurate medication lists lead to fewer medical complications and readmissions.