Has the doctor prescribed new medications for you lately? Usually after an illness, surgery, an accident or being diagnosed with a chronic condition, medication is top of the list for maintenance or recovery. So, how come so many people are lax to adhere to their doctors’ instructions?
They Just Forget!
Life in our society today, is fast paced, and it’s easy to understand how patients can forget when or how to best adhere to a physicians prescribed regimen even with some educational handout instructions. Non-compliance for patients to treat major depression, anxiety disorders, asthma, schizophrenia, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, unfortunately, is quite common.
According to Cureatr, a really helpful patient handout for medication compliance, should include:
Full name of the medication (including its generic and brand names)
When and how often to take it
Reason for taking it
Potential side effects (and what to do if they occur)
Prescriber’s name and contact information
US Pharmacist points out how pervasive non-adherence for regularly taking medication is. This can be a huge problem and the website presents several strategies to help regulate patient adherence. The easiest and most low-tech organizing tool is the preverbal plastic pill box. This option has been used for decades as a visual reminder that medication needed was or has not been taken on any specific day. Additionally, there are higher tech options and resources, such as organizer apps which can be used by the tech savvy patient.
Technology to Improve Adherence
If you are able to use technology, versions of pill organizers apps have added high-tech features that further support medication adherence. How creative can you get? Alarms that can be scheduled to go off at the recommended dosing times, containers that flash as a visual reminder to take medications, and some actually automatically dispense medication into a dosing cup at the correct time. In our world of Siri and Alexia, and our cellphone, we can comfortably set all kinds of reminders and alarms.
Technology can also ensure that the prescription never runs out and you have a steady supply. Prepare yourself with carry out doses in a purse or your vehicle, just in case you are away from home unexpectedly. Reminder notes in your bathroom and kitchen work too for additional low-tech reminders.
Create a Habit!
So, if you are on the tail end of a round of antibiotics, or taking medication for a chronic condition, it helps to stack your habits so you never miss a dose. Add taking your medication to your morning ritual of brushing teeth and washing your face. We are creatures of habits, and morning rituals are a good time to add this one additional step for meds.
We, at GoldLeaf Home Health, pride ourselves on our superior client services and would like to highlight our highly trained, licensed nursing staff and how they provide individualized care. Each nurse or LPN on our team has accrued several years of clinical experience beyond their stringent nursing degrees. GoldLeaf then goes even beyond that, requiring in-home care training so our medical providers understand the loving culture that embodies all care we offer – on every level, every visit. Our skilled in-home care team offers many important services that includes administering and monitoring of medications:
• Central and peripheral intravenous drug therapy
• Administration and maintenance of catheters
• PICC line dressing changes
• Total Parental Nutrition (TPN), G-tube, or other feedings
• Bowel and bladder management, including catheter and ostomy care
• Administering and monitoring medications
• Pain management
• Diabetes management and education
• Wound care
• Cancer care
• Cardiac care and education
• Management of respiratory diseases including COPD
• Blood draws and injections
• IV antibiotics
• Management of Alzheimer’s and dementia