Writing medication recommendations is a bit of an art. There’s a lot that goes into a recommendation and significant circumstances that may alter the way you want to provide that recommendation. In this piece of education, I’m going to ask the question, how urgent is your medication recommendation?
- The most important thing to consider when determining the urgency of your medication recommendation is the clinical impact that the recommendation may have. If you deem that a patient is in danger from their medication(s), urgent action is a necessity. In my ambulatory world, I am typically looking for a response that day or before the patient takes their next or first dose.
- Urgent example: You feel that the patient is displaying signs of lithium toxicity and the patient started hydrochlorothiazide approximately 3 weeks ago.
- Not quite so urgent: The patient has been on simvastatin 40 mg daily and amlodpine 10 mg daily. They have no symptoms of toxicity and have been on this combination for over 3 years, but you would like to make certain the provider is aware of the interaction.
- The patient. Some patients may be more concerned than others. Their opinion of your recommendation is likely going to be swayed by your reaction, but if your patient wants a response soon, this will definitely impact how quickly you would like a response.
- The provider. Understanding what communication route the provider prefers is important. Picking up the phone or tracking them down in the clinic is usually my preferred method of contacting a provider if I feel the situation is urgent. If you have providers that are excellent at responding to emails or electronic communication, feel free to go that route if you have most of the day available for them to respond before you need an answer.
If you’d like more information on medication recommendations, feel free to take advantage of this one time discount on my Medication Recommendation Review Course (3 hours of content). Use discount code urgent at checkout!
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