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Medicines are important for managing many health conditions, but sometimes problems can occur. We discuss the different types of problems that can happen and provide useful tips to help you use medications safely.Read more about Common medicine problems you can avoid
Medicine safety tips you need to know
Medicines are great for keeping us well and maintaining our health; however, errors with or reactions to medications can have serious, even fatal, consequences. Learn how to use medicines wisely and keep everyone safe.
Discover more about medicine safety tips with Health Navigator
Your guide to using medicines safely
Who wants to take pills and potions every day? No one! But many of us have to take medicines to stay well, and some people, even to stay alive. This month there’s a national spotlight on safety and medicines.
A key part of medicine safety is knowing your medicines. Knowledge is power – the more you know, the less likely you are to make a mistake. Talking to your doctor is a great place to start building your knowledge. A few good questions to ask are:
To help you grow your knowledge, Health Navigator has developed a comprehensive section on medicine safety with loads of information about how to be medicine-smart. It includes advice on when and how to take medicines, side effects and other problems to watch out for, information on complementary and alternative medicine, and tips for taking medications at different life stages and situations and more. Read more on Health Navigators medicine use and safety guide and be medicine-smart.
Smoking rates in NZ teens are continuing to decrease, according to recent results from the Year 10 Youth Snapshot Survey. This is the largest survey of youth smoking in New Zealand and samples around half of all Year 10 students each year.
To read more, view the report from the ASH website.
Making Shared Decision Making a Reality - "No decision about me without me"
Kings Fund, July 2011
This earlier report aims to clarify what is meant by the term shared decision-making, what skills and resources are required to implement it, and what action is needed to make this vision a reality.
The principle of shared decision-making in the context of a clinical consultation is that it should:
The report outlines the importance of communication skills and sets out how clinicians might approach consultations to arrive at shared decisions. It also suggests that tools that help patients in making decisions are just as important as guidelines for clinicians.
Read more by visiting the Kings Fund webpage.
Leading the Way to Shared Decision-Making
Health Foundation, February 2012
Two useful reports on shared decision-making are worth reading. The most recent one is a Summit Report - Leading the Way to Shared Decision-Making and was published in February by the Health Foundation. This report identifies four critical steps for the NHS Commissioning Board to make ‘no decision about me, without me’ a reality.
These are: 1. The Board must engage in the development of a strong narrative for shared decision making 2. The Board must inspire others to play their part 3. The Board must invest in the development of robust and meaningful measures of patients’ involvement in their own care 4. The Board must pro-actively encourage the changes in service provision necessary to meet different expectations.
Link to website and report
Evidence: Overcoming challenges to improving quality Health Foundation, UK; April 2012
Published by the Health Foundation, UK, this report outlines lessons from their improvement programme evaluations over the last 10 years and sets this in the context of the broader academic literature.
The report highlights three themes and 10 challenges that typically affect improvement.
To read the report and suggested solutions
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