Physicians, Insurers Join to Promote Safer Prescribing Practices
More Than 50,000 California Physicians Will Receive Patient Safety Document
SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of an ongoing campaign to promote patient safety, the California Medical Association (CMA) and a group of liability insurers today announced that they are sending to more than 50,000 physicians, Safe Medication Principles, which are recommendations for safe prescribing, and measures for educating patients about proper medication use. The Safe Medication Principles were developed by physicians and risk managers representing the 35,000-member CMA and three physician-sponsored professional liability insurers, MIEC, NORCAL and SCPIE, which collectively insure most California physicians. The document introduced today encourages physicians to be sure that their patients understand the proper use and potential side effects of their medicine. Statewide dissemination of the Principles is part of a new, focused program by the CMA and the liability insurers to increase patient awareness about what they and their physicians can do to prevent adverse medication reactions and generally improve patient safety. Based on recommendations from a number of medical and liability experts, the principles are reminders of good medical practices, which many prudent physicians already follow. They are part of an overall effort to reduce patient injuries, which may be caused by illegible handwriting, unclear prescription information, duplication of prescription drugs, and inadequate patient understanding about the medications they take. To ensure that prescriptions are clear to pharmacists, the Principles emphasize the use of legible, standardized abbreviations and terminology on prescriptions, improved documentation of medications and refills, and close monitoring of the effectiveness and potential side effects of prescribed drugs. Physician awareness of all pharmaceuticals and other substances such as herbs and food supplements that their patients receive is an important step toward reducing potential patient injuries. Improving patient adherence to medication advice and reducing the risks of adverse reactions require a strong partnership between patients and their physicians, said John Whitelaw, MD, President of the California Medical Association. The Safe Medication Principles, with which many physicians already are familiar, provide a framework for involving patients, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others in a meaningful collaboration to improve patient safety," he said. To link to the Principles, go to CMA's website at www.cmanet.org. You'll find them under "For Your Information" on the home page. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X99109357
SOURCE California Medical Association
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