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Consumer Medication Adherence Education

Medication Education

Poor medication adherence drives over 700,000 visits to the hospital emergency departments, according to The Center for Disease Control. Close to 120,000 patients each year requires additional hospital treatment due to adverse drug procedures. Because older people take more medicines for chronic conditions, the risk of adverse events is substantial for them.

As people age, they take more prescribed drugs. As of today, close to 80% of seniors over 65 have one chronic condition, and 50% have at least two.

Older patients are twice as likely to visit the emergency departments for misuse of medications; that number is 177,000 visits each year.

The adverse effects put older Americans in harm's way and lands them in the hospital seven times more often than others.

How to Reduce the Risk of Adverse Effects

Medicines intend to prevent and cure diseases and solve problems caused by chronic illnesses. But when mismanaged, the drugs can cause injury. When harm occurs, it's an adverse event. Here how to avoid damage:

  • Make a list and track your medications and over-the-counter drugs
  • Follow directions explicitly
  • Ask questions, if you do not understand the directions
  • Monitor and follow-up with any blood testing recommended by your doctor
  • Take pain relievers and antibiotics only as directed

How often are consumers confused about medications and dosages? Unfortunately, physicians don't have much time to spend with patients during an office visit, so one must rely on copious note-taking. And if a patient only listens to the doctor's orders, how much does one retain once at home?

Understanding the medicines' side-effects and taking action to solve them is another risk factor for adverse events. When experiencing a negative side-effect, consumers usually discontinue the drug treatment entirely.

According to the American Pharmacist Association, patients having a poor misunderstanding or their illness and the purpose of the medicines they take. Therefore, patients are more likely not to follow the regimen.

Patients need education about treatments and what will happen if they fail to follow the procedure.

The number one solution is counseling that's designed for each specific disease. Here's what the patient needs to know:

  • How the drug works
  • The proper dosage
  • The drug schedule
  • What to do if a patient misses a dose
  • Proper storage
  • The frequent and severe adverse events

Pharmacy Education

What is AudibleRx?

AudibleRx is an online consumer medication education tool that patients listen to when they need to know about the drugs' purpose and its side-effects. AudibleRx is not affiliated with or influenced by any drug manufacturer or institution.

The drug information is objective and unbiased; it's accurate, relevant, and appropriate for the particular situations.

AudibleRx follows the criteria for consumer drug information, stated in the FDA Guidance documents:

  • Scientifically accurate
  • Unbiased in content and tone
  • Sufficiently precise and comprehensive
  • Delivered in an understandable and legible format
  • Timely and up-to-date
  • Useful

Dr. Steve Leuck founded AudibleRx. He's been a Pharmacist since 1987 in both the hospital and community pharmacy.

His AudibleRx tool instructs and educates consumers and patients on how to properly consume medicines and their side-effects. The easy to listen to format instructs patients on the drug's purpose and how it treats the illness and disease. It meets the needs of the audible learner and allows people to control the online media player. The listener can stop the recording to write out specific instructions if needed, and then resume listening mode.

Whether it's someone whose challenged with literacy, visual impairment or just one of the many individuals that learn better by listening, everyone deserves access to Consumer Medication Information, says Dr. Leuck.

High-Alert Drugs

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has compiled a list of "high-alert" drugs. High-alert medications bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when used in error. Use these lists to determine which medications require special safeguards at your practice site to reduce the risk of error.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.