Within stable economic societies, polypharmacy has become a phenomenon that can be more harmful, although medications prescribed are with good intentions. Education is integral to nursing responsibilities; it is an intervention tool to help patients affected by polypharmacy. The interest in polypharmacy stems from witnessing the lack of patient education within the acute setting, and the lack poses a greater risk for adverse drug events (ADEs). The healthcare industry’s responsibility is to help alleviate the adverse effects that polypharmacy causes, such as falls, adverse drug reactions, hospitalizations, mortality, and cognitive mental (Fried, 2014).
A new performance improvement project (PI) will be implemented to improve patient education on polypharmacy. Each department will have its own goals, but this focus is on the emergency department (ER). In the ER, the nurse is the first to recognize the effects of polypharmacy; the charge nurse and provider should be immediately notified so that a care plan with appropriate interventions can be quickly implemented. Patients must be educated on new medications that include dosages, side effects, and potential risks, and this should be an essential teaching tool for all healthcare staff. A courtesy visit copy will be provided to the patient’s primary care provider with an alert to the ADE or the potential. The plan will follow the patient until discharge from the ER or an inpatient setting. Evaluation will be after a thirteen-week implementation through chart reviews, patient follow-up, and the number of polypharmacy related admits. After implementing this PI project, the goal is to improve the patient’s knowledge base on the practice of polypharmacy, hoping for successful outcomes by potentially reducing ADEs and improving patient awareness. Nurses are responsible for educating patients and their families on how to take control of their health by knowing their disease processes and each prescription taken by the patient.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Duncan, Brandy Marie, "Polypharmacy Teaching in the Acute Setting" (2022). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 203.