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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on August 05, 2005

Medication Tool Kit Initiative Begins in Georgetown County

Friday, August 05, 2005

Georgetown, SC. - Georgetown Hospital System is proud to be a statewide leader in implementing a plan to help improve patient medication safety. The Medication Tool Kit offers a universally consistent process for communicating vital patient information regarding current medications and allergies across the continuum of care.

The Medication Tool Kit is available to the community through the front desk at Waccamaw Community and Georgetown Memorial Hospitals, physician offices, and other venues. Patients and residents will be asked to complete the universal medication form listing all medications, (prescription and over the counter meds) herbal supplements, and allergies and keep it with them at all times. The universal medication form should be presented at the hospital and the physician’s office for review and updating after each visit, admission, procedure, or appointment.

By keeping a completed universal medication form with them at all times, individuals and their families will have a record of all current medications, allergies and demographic information. This information will be vital as home medications are recorded and reconciled with physician ordered medications for hospital inpatients.

Through a directive from the South Carolina Hospital Association, David Brown, Pharmacy Director, at Waccamaw Community Hospital, put together the 25-person team of medical professionals from Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Waccamaw Community Hospital who planned the Medication Tool Kit project for the hospitals and community. The goal of this committee was to find a way to get each person in the community to keep a current list of his or her medications. “In three years, it is the goal of the SCHA, that every South Carolinian will carry a current universal medication form; it is our goal to support our community in this endeavor,” said Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown cited the example of an older gentleman, who brought his wife in for treatment with a bag of several prescription bottles. “He wasn’t sure what all the medications were for and didn’t know how often she should take them. We determined she had some duplicate medications; it was the same drug in generic and brand name form, potentially doubling the prescribed dosage,” said Brown. “Without medication reconciliation, this is on ongoing problem, as we see multiple caregivers and use different pharmacies to purchase medications.” He added that The Medication Tool Kit program would ensure that people know what drugs they take, why they take them, and provide a medication history that will be invaluable to their caregivers and physicians.

Employees of the Georgetown Hospital System received their Medication Tool Kit information in early July. Georgetown County and outlying area residents will be able to pick up the universal medication form and medicine safety information at the front desks at Waccamaw Community Hospital and Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Beginning in September, the information will be available at area physician offices and other venues. For more information on the Medication Tool Kit call 652-1242. 

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.