How to Help Your Patients Manage Their Medications

How to Help Your Patients Manage Their Medications

As a nurse or a caregiver, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your patients take their medications on time and in the correct dosages. Moreover, this role goes beyond simply administering pills and may require providing emotional support. This is why it’s important to undergo medication training as a caregiver. It will help you learn how to keep track of their doses, manage multiple patients, and create an open, non-judgmental environment. Taking an OHS course also teaches healthcare providers the best practices for explaining medication purposes, dosages, and potential side effects.

Why Is Medication Management Important?

According to statistics from the CDC, about 50% of patients with chronic diseases do not take their medications as prescribed. Additionally, among elderly patients, medication non-adherence rates can be as high as 40%.

When you look at these numbers, you start to see why caregivers and clinicians need to come in to help with medication management. As a caregiver, you also need to share information about the medication with the patients to help them understand why they must take it.

Here are a few pointers on some things to mention.    

  • The name of the medication
  • What are the instructions to take them
  • What is the purpose of the medication?
  • Potential side effects that should be expected
  • Any warning signs
  • In the event of a mistake, how do you respond to the side effects?

It would also help to address the patient’s role in their medication management, such as providing accurate medical history information and reporting any side effects.

Steps to Take to Ensure Patients Better Manage Their Education

There is always something you can do to ensure optimal outcomes when you are dealing with your patients.

  • Look at their medication list

It is essential to review your patient’s medication as it helps to minimize adverse reactions. In some cases, they also have the potential to maximize how effective they can be so that the desired health outcome is reached. Dig deeper and ask questions about how they take their medications and see if increasing or reducing the dosage will improve their health.

  • Educational approach

Whatever you say to the patients should be something that will assist in their medication management problems. Provide them with caregiver-friendly knowledge in different formats and languages. You can create charts to help them track their medication times and the dosages they should take.

  • What are their barriers?

Single out every patient and aim to find the problem when it comes to them taking their prescriptions correctly. For some, it could be health literacy. For others, there could be a need for a screen for social needs, and so on. Identifying these barriers helps you come up with personalized approaches on how to manage each patient’s medication.

  • Update their medication list

With every visit to the clinic, make sure that it reflects on the list. You should ascertain that included are the instructions on how to take each of the medications clearly and the reasons behind them.

  • Technology

You can take some of the work off your hands by utilizing modern tech to help with the job. These days, apps can send prescriptions and fill order reminders electronically, ensuring all patients stay on track with their medication schedule. There are also secure patient portals where patients can look at their records and request a refill.

In Conclusion

Medication management can be challenging due to hindrances like financial constraints that may make patients ration their doses, drug shortages, and the overall cost of medication. However, this doesn’t diminish the need for proper medication management, as failure to take the right medication can cause serious health complications. This is why caregivers and clinicians should always be on top of their game to ensure all their patients receive the best medication management services.

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