News & Events

GNMSS promoting B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Bottles) for accurate patient medication/supplement records

A study published in the respected medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine conducted by Dima Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD and Caleb Alexander, MD, MS has some startling statistics about drug-drug interaction. The study, which was comprised of 2,351 participants in 2005-2006 and 2,206 in 2010-2011, confirmed the need for hospitals and clinics to maintain accurate up-to-date medicine/supplement lists of patients.

Participants were men and women whose mean age was a little over 70 years old. The study found, “that the use of at least one prescription medication slightly increased from 84.1% in 2005-2006 to 87.7% in 2010-2011. Concurrent use of at least 5 prescription medications increased from 30.6% to 35.8% .There were clinically significant increases in the use of statins (33.8% to 46.2%), antiplatelets (32.8% to 43.0%), and omega-3 fish oils (4.7% to 18.6%). In 2010-2011, approximately 15.1% of older adults were at risk for a potential major drug-drug interaction compared with an estimated 8.4% in 2005-2006. Most of these interacting regimens involved medications and dietary supplements increasingly used in 2010-2011.” (Bold emphasis added).

Box Butte General Hospital Pharmacy Manager Matt Pinneo, PharmD, said, “When you see that approximately 15.1% of older adults are at risk for potential major drug-drug interaction, that’s rather alarming. Think about it; that’s 15 out of 100 patients seen. That’s why Greater Nebraska Medical & Surgical Services (GNMSS) and clinics across the nation are asking their patients what drugs they are taking every time they visit a clinic.”

But even that has its limitations. “Often in my interaction with patients, they don’t know what the drug is that they are taking,” Mr. Pinneo said. “For example, high blood pressure and high cholesterol: They just know they’re taking medication to treat that, but don’t know the name or dosage. That’s just two medications. Imagine trying to remember five or more. I’ve seen patients with multiple chronic illnesses who take as many as 28 pills a day.”

Enter the Bring Your Own Bottle (B.Y.O.B) initiative being instituted at GNMSS. Clinic Manager Joni Sautter, RN, said, “We think that’s the easiest way for our patients to know their provider has a complete and accurate list of all the medications/supplements they are taking. So we’re asking our patients to bring all the bottles of medication and supplements they are taking when they come in for an appointment. And we want them to bring them every time they visit the clinic. That way we know when a drug has been discontinued, or a new one has been prescribed. Every bottle’s label will have the name of the drug, its dosage, and how times a day it is taken. All of that is important information for your medical provider.”

So remember the B.Y.O.B. acronym every time there is a need to visit a clinic. “Accurate and up-to-date recording of the medications and supplements you are taking is vital for your safe and effective care,” Ms. Sautter concluded.

Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.