The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the editor
Editor, – The case reported in 'Medicinal mishaps' (Aust Prescr 2002;25:73) highlights the importance of obtaining an accurate medication history as part of the hospital admission process. Frequently this is 'easier said than done'. Obtaining an accurate medication history is often complex, time consuming and a fallible process. Reasons for this include:
- lack of patient knowledge of their medications
- lists from local doctors and patients that are out of date
- medication labels that are out of date or non specific ('mdu')
- transcription errors on residential care facility transfer letters
- neglecting to ask the patient what they are actually doing with their medications.
All patients should be encouraged to bring their medications to every hospital and clinic visit. Patients should be assisted by their pharmacist, local doctor or family member to maintain a current list if they are unable to remember their treatment themselves.
Senior Clinical Pharmacist
Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre