Seniors Can Not Recall Drugs Prescribed During Hospitalization

According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Colorado nearly 9 in 10 hospitalized seniors could not name a single take-as-needed medication prescribed during a hospital stay. 88% of hospitalized seniors could not recall any medications they had been prescribed. Patients were given a list of medications and asked to check which ones had been prescribed. That list was then compared to actual prescription records.

Reesearchers concluded that more patient involvement in medication is needed to prevent adverse reactions. I would take it two steps further. Hospital discharge planning must be more aggressive in their discharge instructions and in follow up after discharge. Diligent hospitals will call patients after discharge and check on them and re-review instructions. But this is also a warning for caregivers and family members to pay attention and be involved in your loved ones care. If you are too far away then consider hiring a patient advocate to work with your loved one and assure they are advocating for everything they need and educating the patient on what they need to do as well.

The study appears in the Dec. 10 edition of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.