AU Health program to educate patients about their medications

Augusta University Health has developed a new program to better educate patients about the...
Augusta University Health has developed a new program to better educate patients about the medication they are receiving.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 11:49 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta University Health has developed a new program to better educate patients about the medication they are receiving.

According to the university’s pharmacy services, patients being readmitted to the hospital due to medication-related issues is often overlooked by patients and many health care professionals. In many cases, the problem is simply a lack of education about the medication.

With the Meds to Beds program, a pharmacy technician brings the patient all their prescribed medications before they are discharged.

They partner with retail and clinical pharmacists to explain everything the patient needs to know about the medication. The patient can successfully continue treatment at home under their doctor’s guidance.

Dr. Rashad Darby, manager of Community Pharmacy at Augusta University Medical Center, says, “Rehospitalizations and unnecessary Emergency Department visits may be attributed to people not understanding their medications or not taking them appropriately. We’re able to take the time and go through the things they need to know so they can stay on the medication.”

He gave the hypothetical example of patients leaving the hospital with a prescription in hand. They may go to their local retail pharmacies, and decline counseling from the pharmacist because they’re just ready to go home.

Then, while taking the medication, they may encounter a side effect to the medication that may be known to resolve in a couple of days. But because the patient declined counseling, they won’t know that and will stop taking the medication.

“I can almost guarantee that if I looked at someone who got Meds to Beds versus someone who did not, the stats will look a lot better for someone that’s getting Meds to Beds because there is so much more time spent with the patient,” Darby says.

Not only does the program address patient education about medications, but the pharmacy can address all parts of patient access to medication.

During the Meds to Beds program’s operating hours, a pharmacy technician is constantly monitoring prescriptions that are written for discharge. The tech follows the prescription to make sure the pharmacy receives and processes it on time.

If a patient cannot afford their medication, there may be other options to help and the Meds to Beds team can communicate these options. Some examples are drug coupons or manufacturer programs. Both help to reduce costs, which is another known reason for patients not taking their medication.

Meds to Beds operating hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more convenience, curbside pick-up is offered by the retail pharmacy team during the same operating hours as Meds to Beds.

This gives patients and their family members another option for picking up their medications without having to make another stop on their way home. The retail pharmacy is located on the second floor of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.