Medication Safety

The Med Card is a way for you to generate a list of medications to keep with you at all times. This single step is the most important thing you can do to help prevent medication errors.

Medication Safety Documents

List of Medication Safety Documents for use in your institution. Documents were prepared by the UHA Adverse Drug Events work group.

Adverse Drug Effects User Group Publications

Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive approach to assessing risk in organizations. The Utah Patient Safety Steering Committee's Adverse Drug Effects (ADE) User Group utilized this technique to identify methods to proactively prevent harm to patients from anticoagulant usage within health organizations. Hospitals and health systems can use the provided materials in several effective ways.

Suggestions for effectively utilizing the Utah ADE group's generated FMEA tools in your organization:

  • Review executive summary to see if key actions are applicable.
  • Review the included FMEA table to assess organizational implementation strategies in order to prevent harm to patients.
  • Utilizing the tools below, conduct a FMEA specific to your organization, identifying mechanisms to prevent future harm.

FMEA Project on High Risk Drugs - Inpatient Anticoagulant Agents -- January 2005

Using The Med Card

  • Explains how to use The Med Card and how to prevent problems with your medications.
  • Complete the Med Card. Always keep this form with you. Be sure your family members have also completed a Med Card.
  • Be sure to write down all the medicines you take. This includes your prescription medicines as well as over the counter products (such as pain relievers, antacids, and antihistamines), herbal medicines, and supplements.
  • Have your health care provider review your Med Card with you at each visit. This includes your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist.
  • Ask questions! Discuss any questions you have about your medicines with your health care provider such as doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.

Before you leave your health care provider, be sure you understand the following information:

  • Why am I taking this medicine?
  • What is the dose?
  • How do I use this medicine?
  • How will I know if this medicine is working?
  • What kind of side effects can I expect?
  • What should I do if any adverse effects occur?

Using the Med Card helps prevents errors with you medicines.

  • Your health care providers can double check that you are receiving the right dose and check for drug interactions.
  • It is important for all health care professionals involved in your care to have a current list of your medicines.
  • The Med Card lists any allergies you may have. This helps to prevent you from receiving any of these medicines.
  • In an emergency, the information on your Med Card will help your care providers take care of you.
  • If you are in the hospital, the Med Card will help your care providers remember to give you all the medicines that you need.

Keep your Med Card Current! Review your Med Card monthly. Make any changes to be sure your card has the most current information. (pdfDownload this guide as a PDF.)

Med Card Formats

The Med Card comes in several formats to make it more convenient for you.

  • pdfSingle Med Card Wallet: Med Card that Folds into a convenient size to fit on your wallet.
  • pdfThree-fold Med Card Wallet: Three printable Med Cards on a single sheet.
  • pdfThe MedCard Full Page: Larger version with more room for expanded medications list.
  • pdfDaily Med Plan: This document gives you a place to write out your medications and your dosing schedule. You can print it out to use or save it on your computer to fill out.
  • pptMedication History PowerPoint for Health Professionals: This presentation helps health professionals better understand how to obtain a complete and accurate medication list from patients. It describes both the use of the MED Card in the process and use of other resources in obtaining the list of medications that the patient currently takes.
  • pptMed Rec PowerPoint for Health Professionals: This presentation helps health professional better understand medication reconciliation and the role of medical personnel in reviewing patient's medication lists. The presentation also provides a summary of how the MED Card is used to help patients keep a portable record of home medications to assist in the reconciliation process.
  • pptMed Rec PowerPoint for Patients: This presentation is designed to inform health care consumers about the use of the MED Card by promotiong better information about medications and chronic disease states to their health providers.