Green Bags a Reminder to Bring Medications to Hospital

6 December 2010

Patients coming into hospital should bring all their current medications with them - and the Taranaki DHB is making it easier for them to remember.

The DHB has started a Medicines Reconciliation Project, which is set to reduce medication errors, improve efficiencies and provide safer transcribing.

Part of the project is the introduction of green bags for people to store their medicines in whilst in hospital. The bright green bags are for high medication users and are a helpful reminder to bring medications to hospital.

TDHB Chief Pharmacist Elizabeth Plant says it is vital people bring their medications with them - whether it be to the Emergency Department or the wards - and be willing to discuss what they are taking with the doctors.

“The doctors need to accurately know what medications people are taking prior to admission; otherwise assessments and treatment can be compromised.

“This is very important,” said Mrs Plant. “Even if you are not taking something your GP has prescribed we must know what you are taking prior to being admitted to a ward.” If you cannot bring in your medicines, ask a family member to bring them in as soon as possible.

“Even if you don’t have a green bag please bring you medications in and we will give you a bag,” she said.

The bags are securely stored in hospital and given back to patients when they are discharged. Medications will be updated if required.

The bags have been distributed to rest homes for their clients, many of whom are on a number of different types of medication. The Ambulance Service also uses the bags to collect patients’ medications.

Mrs Plant says the project focuses on how medication information is handled from admission to discharge. It involves a new electronic reconciliation process to better track patients’ medication changes during their hospital stay.

This is a national pilot undertaken in conjunction with the Safe Medication Management Programme and the National Health IT Board.

Taranaki DHB is recognised for its innovation and is one of two DHBs taking part in the project, Mrs Plant says.

There will be a photo opportunity at Base Hospital on Tuesday December 6th at 11am. Please call if you are interested.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
TDHB Media Advisor
Phone 021 367 789

Last updated: Monday, December 6, 2010

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