It’s “Talk About Rx” month, which is a great opportunity to help patients stay informed about their prescriptions and dietary supplements. Here are seven important things you can help patients do to make them “Medicine Smart.”
- Make a list of all their medicines. It’s important for patients to always carry a list of their medications with them for every medical visit. Adverse drug events accounted for about 700,000 emergency room visits and nearly 10,000 hospitalizations in 2015. One way to keep medication adherence top of mind is by including information in your on-hold messaging. In a recent study, 52% of participants placed on hold without messages or music terminated the call. Why not use this opportunity to educate patients about how to be medicine smart?
- Ask questions about prescribed medications. Patients should know the names of all their medications, what they do and conditions these meds are treating, as well as how and when they should take medications. It’s also important that patients consult their physician before stopping a medication. Here is a list of questions providers can include on their website to prompt patients to ask more questions during their appointment.
- Share important information about medication use. Educate patients about the importance of notifying their physician about medication allergies or issues with certain medications. Doing so can prevent complications, medications not working properly or serious health risks.
- Recognize that all medications have risks and benefits. Medications can do great things such as lower blood pressure, cure infection and relieve pain. However, some medicines can cause patients unwanted or unexpected side effects. It’s important that patients understand all the benefits and risks associated with each medication. Here are some tips from the Food & Drug Administration to pass along.
- Get the most out of medications. For patients to fully benefit from their medication, it’s vital for them to understand the importance of following Rx directions and to report any problems when they occur. It’s not always easy to understand why patients don’t take medications as prescribed. To gain better understanding, providers can conduct a simple automated medication adherence survey, which gives providers the opportunity to follow up with patients with additional coaching and education.
- Properly store medication. Remind patients to store their medication safely and away from a child’s reach.
- Properly dispose of any unused medicine. Most patients don’t know how to dispose of old or unused medications. Here are three options to share with them from SMARxT Disposal.
Less than half of patients realize that taking their medications as prescribed can help prevent hospitalization. With simple education and patient-centric communication tools, providers can empower patients to become more proactive with their health.
For more information on how your organization can help patients become more adherent and compliant in their medical treatment, download our free white paper: Medication Adherence And Compliance: Solving Complex Problems through Better Communication.