Inter-professional Team Communication to Improve Patient Safety: A Medication Safety Tip Sheet




Daugherty, Caleb
Fix, Jennifer


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Objective: Communication in healthcare teams is essential to decrease medical errors and improve patient health outcomes. With these themes in mind, the objectives of this study were to: (1) Enhance patient safety (2) Demonstrate effective collaboration by members of the healthcare team (3) Address polypharmacy through patient education and (4) Develop a patient education tool that is endorsed by the Institute for Patient Safety and UNT Health. Methods: This descriptive study examined the process of establishing a group and tool to enhance patient safety. A work group was convened with the following members: Nurse Practitioner, Susan Matthew, a care provider for Mighty Care clinics, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Family Medicine, Dr. Jennifer Fix, clinical pharmacist provider of services for the Division of Family Medicine’s Mighty Care Medical Clinics. and fourth year student pharmacist Caleb Daugherty on his advanced pharmacy practice experiential (APPE) rotation tasked by NP Matthew to develop a tip sheet to hand out to patients to help them with understanding the dangers of mixing medications. Mr. Daugherty submitted his assignment prior to completing his rotation. Dr. Fix forwarded the first draft submitted by Mr. Daugherty to all providers within the Mighty Care Team who had an opportunity to provide input and edits to the document thereby developing a second draft of the document. Provider designations of contributors to the project included medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medical assistant, social worker, pharmacist, and student pharmacist. Results: Because of the importance of communicating printed materials to consumers at an appropriate reading level, the Medication Safety Tip Sheet was presented to the Institute for Patient Safety for their review and assistance in revising the handout. The Medication Safety Tip Sheet is ready for patient distribution. Sharing of the Tip Sheet with patients has begun and patient as well as provider feedback is noted. Based on the positive feedback received on the use of the tool, a pre and post assessment survey is planned to track the usefulness of the tool. The survey will be administered prior to handing the patient the education tool and at a future visit not later than 180 days. Various providers also encourage adoption of the patient education tool by all UNT Health Prescribers. Conclusions: It is anticipated that the conclusions derived from the survey data will show that patients benefited from the educational tool and that it proves to be useful for enhancing patient safety while meeting the stated objectives for the project.