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Advice for people transitioning out of the hospital

Clinical Pharmacist Kristen Glover Belew with Baptist Health joined The Vine with advice for patients.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Hundreds of patients are discharged from hospitals across Arkansas every day. Clinical Pharmacist Kristen Glover Belew with Baptist Health joined The Vine with advice for those patients. 

1) Do a follow-up after a hospital stay with a Specialist or Primary Care Physician. For example, you may have fallen and broken a bone. The Orthopedic Specialist will address the broken bone.  

 2) It is common to have problems at the pharmacy, whether a medicine has a very high co-pay or not covered by insurance. First, reach out to the specialist who prescribed that medication. If you cannot get in touch with them in a timely manner, call your primary care physician.  

 3) If you are unsure if new medications are safe, contact your PCP. "Our goal is to always have your most up to date medication list with your PCP," said Belew. If you are experiencing a new side effect, it may be the result of a drug interaction. For example, a new medication may slow the metabolism of an anti-depression medication you have been taking for 10 years, but all of a sudden feel more tired.  The dose of your anti-depression medication may need to be adjusted.

4) Hospitals do not always have your medical records and medication lists on file. "It seems to be a smoother transition when a patient uses doctors within the same hospital system," said Belew. For example, a patient uses a Baptist PCP and then goes to Baptist Hospital. It is easier for Baptist Health to view and share records because everything is in the same computer system. For outside hospital systems, it requires more coordination which makes your Hospital F/U appointment especially important.  

This article is sponsored by Baptist Health