Patients & Visitors

Medications


Coming to LHSC

  • When coming to an appointment and when being admitted to hospital please bring the medications you are currently prescribed by your family doctor and specialists, or a list of the medications you are taking and your community pharmacy’s phone number. The list of medications should include any over-the-counter, herbal products and vitamins. Following review by an LHSC nurse, pharmacy team member or doctor, medications should be sent home unless otherwise instructed.
  • Please inform your nurse, doctor and pharmacy team member of any drugs which have recently been stopped or any adverse reactions to drugs. Also inform about allergic reactions to foods, medications, or other environment substances.
  • Medications prescribed and approved for use at LHSC will be supplied to you while in hospital. Any medications you bring into the hospital from home (e.g. eye drops, ointments, creams) should not be taken while you are at the hospital unless approved by your doctor.

 

How do we ensure medication safety at LHSC?

Prescribing medications

  • LHSC uses an electronic health record system to document your home medications when you are admitted or during certain outpatient clinic appointments.
  • Our physicians and nurse practitioners order new medications or change medications electronically in the same system to optimize your care.  This is a process known as “Medication Reconciliation” and is a required organizational practice as per Accreditation Canada. 
  • LHSC physicians and nurse practitioners prescribe medications for you with LHSC’s electronic health record.   They use standardized electronic medication plans and regimens to increase accuracy in prescribing.  The computerized system also provides prescribers with important drug information and alerts prescribers to potential duplication and drug interactions.
  • Prescribers at LHSC also have easy access to your laboratory results which guides them to select the most appropriate medication for you.

Dispensing medications

  • When you are admitted, hospital pharmacists review medication orders for your care prior to you receiving the medications.   This is done to ensure that the medications are the best ones for you to take and to avoid any possible adverse effects or drug interactions. 
  • All medications dispensed for inpatients at LHSC are bar coded. 
  • LHSC’s Pharmacy uses a variety of systems to ensure accuracy and high quality in our medication management processes for receipt, storage, preparation, transport, and administration of medications to our patients.  Wastage of drugs follows specific policies and procedures including double signatures, where required.  
  • LHSC Pharmacy uses robotic dispensing technology and automated medication dispensing units to ensure safe and secure storage of medications.
  • Each step in the preparation and dispensing process of medications within pharmacy involves independent double checking procedures to ensure safety.
  • LHSC Pharmacy meets all of the provincial regulatory requirements and accredited by the Ontario College of Pharmacists.

Administering medications

  • When medications are administered to you, your patient identification wrist band will be scanned and then the medication will be scanned (using bar code technology). This ensures you receive the right medication in the right dose and frequency according to the doctor’s orders.
  • The administration of the medication is recorded in LHSC’s electronic health record as a permanent record for health care providers to reference as they monitor your care.

Medication security

  • LHSC uses a variety of security protocols to ensure that medications are stored safely.  All medications are stored only in designated secure storage locations throughout the hospital.  Only specified health team members have access to these storage areas.
  • Audits of the medication management system (including documentation practices) are conducted routinely by pharmacy leaders in collaboration with clinical leaders to ensure policies and procedures are being followed.

Preparing to go home

  • LHSC uses an electronic health record system to document the medications which you will take when you are discharged from hospital.
  • Our physicians and nurse practitioners order new medications or change medications electronically through a process called “Discharge Medication Reconciliation”; also a required organizational practice as per Accreditation Canada. 
  • You will be provided with a list of your medications when you are discharged.  The list can be shared with your family physician and community pharmacy as it will detail any significant changes in your treatment and in some cases specific information that will help you manage your care.
  • LHSC operates three accredited retail pharmacies.  They provide a full range of services and deal with all major insurance plans.  They also provide many special drug products that are not available in other pharmacies.  They can dispense your medications when you go home to help with your transition home.

Answering your questions

  • If you have any questions about your medications, side effects, and plans for discharge while a patient at LHSC, please speak to your nurse, doctor or pharmacy team member. 
  • Understanding your medication treatment plan is important for your health.  We encourage you to ask questions throughout your care journey.

Medication Reconciliation Patient Brochure