Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Preventing Medication Errors- For You, For Them, For Everyone!

Take as Directed:
Cool New Tools for Managing Your Medications

Polypharmacy, confusion, difficulty with containers and disorganization can lead to patients being over medicated or under medicated... the top 5 medication mistakes made by patients at home.

Careful planning and organization of your  prescriptions can prevent some of these most common errors from ever taking place. 

In a previous post, I discussed these 5 medication errors and presented simple solutions for each of them.  Now, let's consider additional (high tech) options available for medication management and organization. I've included something for everyone.

1.  For healthcare providers: Epocrates

Rated a top 10 app for physicians and a great choice for any medical professional, Epocrates has really great features:

  • Reference safety information for thousands of brand, generic and OTC medications
  • Check for potentially harmful drug interactions for up to 30 drugs at a time 
  • Identify pills by imprint code and physical characteristics

Quickly and easily gather pertinent information about the prescription medications your patients are taking. Use the app as a reference, when problem solving and when providing education. Epocrates is certainly a great addition to a speech pathologist's therapy tool box. 

2.  For patients: PillPac
PillPack is an online pharmacy that can also take the guess work out of medication management.  A patient's medications are sorted, sealed and labeled in a handy little packet, checked by pharmacists and delivered right to their door. How cool is that?

Watch this quick video to see how it's pretty neat!

While these little packages of pills may not work for everyone, they certainly reduce the potential for medication error. There are other companies that provide a similar service, so check around, ask your doctor and talk to your insurance company. Of course, always take into account individual variables before deciding to use such a service, because, like I said, it may not work for everyone.

This easy to use and FREE app helps you manage medications so that you never forget to take them. The Medisafe Medication Reminder, Prescription and Pill Organizer app is ranked #1 by pharmacists as a tool to help you remember when to take your pills.

This virtual pill box offers custom alerts, compiles medical information and even provides motivation and encouragement to keep up healthy regimens. It may not be the solution for everyone, but for the technologically savvy, it a great tool for preventing medication errors. 

"Take as directed" sounds so easy, but when there are multiple medications and multiple doses each day, prescriptions and pills quickly become difficult to manage. Incorporate any of these options today and take control of your health. 

The glory of medicine is that it is constantly moving forward, that there is always something new to learn. 
William James Mayo