A salutary lesson about the inherent risks for patients at the time of discharge from hospital is reported in a recent article in the Washington Post.
It is important that we ask ourselves whether this could happen in Australia and what could be done to prevent such a tragedy. The issues of medication prescribing controls, education and compliance loom large and while recent initiatives in Victoria will go some way towards helping where patients seek out excessive medications, our chain of control of medications from prescription to consumption needs attention.
The solution is, as usual, multi-factorial but opportunities for better patient education and monitoring, and medication dispensing and administration using innovative technology are becoming available. Exploring these opportunities, for the sake of our patients, is now overdue.