Medication Safety Tips

Dispose Unwanted Medication

Free, safe, and convenient kiosks for disposing of unwanted medicine. See our flyer for details

Are you receiving a new medication? Questions to ask your provider (PDF)

Document your Medications

Medication card (English; wallet size) (PDF)

Medication card (8½ x 11") (PDF)

For a printed medication card, ask at your clinic or call the Community Health Education Department at 206-386-2502 to receive one by mail.

At Swedish, we keep medical information in an electronic record. This means that every doctor in every Swedish clinic, hospital and emergency room can see what medicines other Swedish doctors have prescribed for a patient. They also can see whether a patient has any drug allergies.

Pharmacies also keep records of the prescriptions they fill. This keeps them from filling a prescription that won’t work right or may be harmful if it is taken with something else the patient is already taking. Always filling your prescriptions at the same pharmacy is helpful in tracking your medication history.

What You Can Do to Help

Most people take an assortment of prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements. They may see doctors at several different clinics that may not share an electronic medical record, and they may use more than one pharmacy.

Making sure that every doctor knows everything you are taking is the best way you can help ensure your medication safety. You can be part of the solution.

Five Simple Steps to Medication Safety

  1. Keep a medication record for every member of your family. Update the record regularly – especially when beginning or stopping a medication. Keep it in your wallet. On the record include:
    • Prescription medications
    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Vitamins
    • Supplements
  2. Share your medication record with your doctor every time you have an appointment, or are admitted to the hospital or visit an emergency room so your medical record is always up to date.
  3. Ask questions when your doctor prescribes a new medicine. To help you remember which questions to ask, download the New Medication? Questions to Ask Your Provider, above.
  4. Don’t take anyone else’s medicine – and don’t share your medicines with anyone else.
  5. Don’t take any medications that have expired. Over time medicine may become less effective and may even become harmful.


Washington Patient Safety Coalition – My Medicine List