I am always on the lookout for new ideas I can implement in my business in the best interest of my customers, and their well being. I try to put myself in the patient’s shoes and nearly reverse-engineer some of our processes. A simple one is the amount of information I can print on a prescription label. Some patients have a vague idea what type of medicine they are taking. By this I mean they know it’s for ‘blood pressure’, for ‘cholesterol’ or it’s an ‘antibiotic’. So if someone is getting a prescription for an antibiotic like Amoxicillin, I put on the label in brackets ‘penicillin antibiotic’. Similarly if they are taking Atorvastatin to reduce cholesterol I label it in brackets as ‘cholesterol tablet’.
I see part of my role is to help educate and inform patients as much as possible about what they are taking, why they are taking it and how best to take it. We are all guilty of forgetting to take medication, or trying to figure out if we have taken the right dose at the right time. Now imagine someone you were taking care of had to take 22 medications in any given day. Leaving it to the chance that you will remember or scrawling instructions on a sheet of paper is not the answer. This was the motivation behind Olive O’Connor coming up with the idea of a paper based personal health organiser. A busy mum with her own health issues and three sick children, Olive needed a way to manage everyone and make sure they were taking the right medication, at the right time, and it was been given to the right person.
This is no small task as you can guess. My blog on the Personal Information Pack (PIP) is a great example of a product where the Pharmacist and patient or carer can work together to encourage medicine compliance. Once a prescription leaves the shop, I have no idea where it goes once it gets to the patient’s home. Does it sit in the bag in the boot of their car overnight before it goes into the house? Once inside, where is it stored? Is there already a previous month’s supply which hasn’t been open yet? Is the patient inadvertently stockpiling medicines? This is going beyond the scope of this blog but is a massive problem as evidenced by the bags of unused medicines returned to us every month.
I recently came across Olive’s product called Medistori and I am looking into it. The company website is www.medistori.com. I have included some videos here which explain the product much better than I ever could. In its most simple form, it is a personal diary of all your medical history from medications, to hospital letters, to results of blood tests etc. Transplant recipients carry a ‘passport’ at all times, with all their medical information- this idea is similar, and just opens up the communications process. All the information, in one place, for all healthcare practitioners and carers to see. Like the PIP this is a new and innovative product and I intend to get one for my own family to road test it. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. I believe Medistori will help me document my own medication story. My own personal Medistori is just about to begin. The Medistori will be available in Pharmacies, in Hospitals and online.