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Klaartje de Kanter: ‘Economical and careful medication use’

In the Princess Máxima Center and / or at parents' and children's homes, quite a few medicines are thrown away unused. That is spillage and our pharmacy would like to do something about it. Klaartje de Kanter, hospital pharmacist/clinical pharmacologist, will start the project ‘Use of home medication during hospitalization’ in the autumn and counts on positive results: ‘We want to use expensive medication as economically and carefully as possible.’
The reason for this project is the fact that medication is thrown away when discharged home from the hospital, while patients often use the same medication for a long time and stay regularly in the Máxima Center. Klaartje de Kanter: ‘That is a waste of precious and environmentally harmful materials and we want to prevent this as much as possible. In addition, medication safety is also a main goal to start this project. We sometimes hear that it is unclear for the child and parents that other medication is taken at home than in the hospital. Why does a child get five pink pills in the hospital and 12 yellow ones at home? ‘

Klaartje: ‘First of all, we want to see whether the medication that the children use at home can be taken to the hospital during admission.’ That turned out to be very rare. The pharmacy will be assessing whether this medication is well preserved and still stable, whether the packaging is undamaged, whether there is a label on it, or whether the content matches the label. ‘Then the medication can be used during the recording. Normally, this medication stays at home and we deliver all medication from Máxima again. Part of this will be destroyed upon dismissal. Of course we also take medication back, if possible! But still, we think it could be more economical!’ says the clinical pharmacologist.

In the project ‘Use of medication from home’, the first question is whether parents / children want to bring their medication with them to the Máxima. The pharmacy checks everything and allows the medication to be used in whole or in part during admission. The research must show whether indeed less medication is thrown away, how satisfied patients and pharmacy are with this method and whether safety is improved. Klaartje is ambitious and says: ‘In time we could also let patients and/or caregivers manage the patients’ own medication during hospitalization. They take the medication themselves, nurses no longer have to administer the medication. That would be a great development!‘