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A Spoonful of Knowledge: Helping Patients Understand Their Prescriptions

UCHealth keeps patients and providers informed about why a medication was prescribed

Patients at risk for heart failure might be prescribed one medication to prevent blood clots, another to reduce fluid retention, and another to stabilize heart rhythm, making it difficult to remember exactly why they’re taking each one. To keep patients, caregivers, and providers on the same page, UCHealth in Denver, CO used Epic to ensure the purpose of a prescription is always printed on the medication label.

Physicians are reminded to select the purpose of a medication from a list or write in their own as they prescribe. Patients see details like “furosemide treats water retention caused by congestive heart failure” right on the medication label, so they understand the importance of sticking to their daily medication regimens.

The purpose also appears on the patient’s visit summary in MyChart, as well as in in the patient’s medication list in Epic for other providers to reference.

“If patients forget why they’re taking a medication, instead of turning to the internet or a friend and learning something incorrect, they can simply check the medication bottle,” said Kate Perica, PharmD, BCPS, a pharmacist at UCHealth. “The information is right at hand when they need it.”

Epic community members can learn more about UCHealth’s program from their UGM slides and audio.