Medication management training provides medical practitioners with skills they need to prescribe medications appropriately and educate patients as well as caregivers about safe medication use. Part of medical education often includes discussions about medication management and it is also possible to receive specialty training. Studies on populations of nurses and other care providers indicate that periodic refresher education and training can increase patient safety. This can also provide protection from liability by eliminating common causes of medication-related incidents.
One important aspect of medication management training is instruction on how to educate patients. Health care providers learn how to explain dosing and administration during the training and discuss methods for handling patients who may have communication issues that make it hard to understand directions. Patient compliance with medication regimens can increase with good communication. Mistakes with dosage, timing, and administration are also less likely when patients are fully informed.
Practitioners also learn about how to safely use medications in medication management training. This includes reviewing a patient’s case, medical history, and other factors to determine if a medication is appropriate and select a dose that will suit the need. Of particular concern is polypharmacy, the use of more than one prescription medication, a common issue among older patients and people with complex medical conditions. They are at high risk of taking unnecessary medications or experiencing adverse medication interactions that can endanger their health.
Some drugs also require careful monitoring, a topic that may be discussed in medication management training. This can include drugs with dosages that need to be adjusted through a careful process of tapering, testing serum levels, and changing the dosage until the patient hits the desired serum concentration of medication. Other drugs have potentially dangerous side effects that need to be discussed and watched for at each appointment to identify them as early as possible. For example, some medications can have an adverse effect on the liver, and the patient may need regular liver panels to check for medication complications.
Courses offering medication management training may also discuss software tools people can use. These can include programs designed specifically to help people organize medications and track medical histories, as well as electronic medical record software. Integrating fully with the patient’s record is critical, as it ensures that people providing treatment to the patient in that facility can access information about medications and dosages. This might be important if the patient has an acute reaction to a drug.