With the launch of Patient Safety Week, Cantabrians with prescribed medication are being encouraged to ensure they can answer three simple questions:
What is my medicine called? What is it for? When and how do I take it?
Canterbury Health System welcomes the choice of medicines safety as this year's theme for Patient Safety Week, because of the role everyone can play in preventing medicines-related harm.
Questions about your medication can be answered by your pharmacist or online via HealthInfo - a trusted, health information website informed and updated regularly by Canterbury clinicians. Another trusted online option is MyMedicines.
Canterbury DHB CEO David Meates is encouraging staff and the general public to get behind Patient Safety Week as the start of a new drive to increase awareness.
"The Health Quality and Safety Commission have set a totally achievable goal for us all during Patient Safety Week - to get into the good habit of ensuring we understand our medicines better by answering those three simple questions"
"One other key activity for our health system this week is to let people know about our medicines return service," Mr Meates says.
Canterbury community pharmacies will now accept surplus (no longer needed) and expired medication for safe disposal. This removes a potential hazard from people's homes where old medicines can all too easily be taken in error or disposed of unsafely.
The service also allows people to return used medical sharps for disposal (including needle/syringes used for cytotoxic medication), as long as they are safely packaged as agreed by the pharmacy.
We have been working with our Canterbury Clinical Network partners the Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group to support and promote this service which is free to the community. Community pharmacies will use stickers on prescription bags, issue advice tailored to users of medical sharps, and have a general information flier about the service.
"All people need to do is to talk to their pharmacy first for advice on how to store and return items safely, and while you are at it – why not ask those three questions: What's my medicine called, what's it for, and when and how do I take it?"
Media queries can be directed to Canterbury DHB Senior Media Advisor Jendy.Harper@cdhb.health.nz (03) 364 4122 or (027) 502 7523
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