Front Range Hospice continues to maintain the highest standards of care set before us by the Joint Commission.. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you the Joint Commissions Speak Up campaign. As a Joint Commission Accredited company Front Range Hospice supports this campaign and encourages everyone to familiarize themselves with the program. In an effort to help you understand this program Front Range Hospice is going to Speak Up about the program and get you started on the road of empowerment. When you finish reading this blog you will have a better understanding of the medications that may be used at Front Range hospice.
The Joint Commission has a hospice/palliative care education campaign as part of their award-winning Speak Up program. The Speak Up program urges people like you to take an active role in their own health care.
The basic framework of the Speak Up campaign urges patients and families to:
• Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
• Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
• Educate yourself about your diagnosis, and your treatment plan.
• Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
• Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care errors.
• Use a hospice, hospital, clinic, or other type of health care organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by The Joint Commission.
• Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of your health care team.
All of us at Front Range Hospice want to help you speak up. As mentioned above, medication errors are the most common mistake in healthcare. What better way to minimize these errors then to talk about medications.
When becoming a patient at Front Range Hospice you may hear from the Liaison or Nurse that a comfort pack will be delivered to your home. Your now wondering what’s a comfort pack and what do I do with it once it arrives?
Answer: The hospice comfort pack – is a prescribed set of medications that are kept in a patient’s home in the event of an emergency or onset of new symptoms. Having the medications already in your home will help the hospice team treat any distressing symptoms as quickly as possible in your home. Front Range Hospice strives to get and keep you as comfortable as possible.
The hospice comfort pack may be ordered and delivered to your home at the start of hospice care or anytime the RN Case Manager sees a possible need. The Front Range Hospice comfort pack contains medications for pain, anxiety, nausea, constipation.
Other medications may be included depending on the hospice diagnosis. For example, a patient with a brain tumor who is at risk for seizures may have valium suppositories included in the comfort pack.
The Front Range Hospice RN Case Manager will explain each medication to you including the purpose and correct way to administer it. In most cases the RN Case Manager will instruct their patients and families not to start any of the medications till they have consulted the RN Case manager. At this time the RN Case Manager will review the medication, why it is being used, how to administer it and the frequency it can be given.
If you have a true allergy to these or any medications it is important to share that information with the RN Case Manager. A true allergy occurs when your immune system reacts abnormally to a medication. A number of drugs can cause a drug allergy, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. The most common signs of a drug allergy are hives, rash or fever. You can have an allergic reaction to a drug anytime you take it, even if it caused no reaction in the past.
Most drug-related symptoms are not a true drug allergy and don’t involve the immune system. Drug allergy and non-allergic drug reactions are often confused because they can cause similar symptoms. Either type is called an adverse drug event and needs to be reported to the RN Case Manager. Some allergic and non-allergic drug reactions can be severe or life-threatening.
Lastly please remember to report to the RN Case Manager any herbal remedies you are taking. Herbal remedies can have a negative impact on the medications being prescribed by your physician.
Remember to SPEAK UP! Excellent end of life care is your right and it is dependent on you Speaking up and communicating with your health care team.
Front Range Hospice
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