Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Story: From Love of a Mother and Daughter

When the relationship between Kathi and her mother Stella was beginning to erode because of stress, they knew they needed to do something. The stress arose when Stella’s medications mounted to 8 pills per day.

Stella's health and confidence were declining. Confusion and frustration were growing.

Kathi's love for her mother and deepest desire to maintain a loving relationship with Stella inspired resourcefulness and creativity.

Kathi’s solution began with a reused piece of cardboard. Kathi taped a sample of each pill to one side—organizing the pills in the order in which they should be taken throughout the day. Next to each pill, Kathi recorded name, dosage, usage and special instructions. Kathi even drew small icons to depict what each pill was used for.

This visual pill list helped Stella become more familiar with each pill. Using the visual list, Stella could identify each pill separately, match it to its corresponding dosage instructions, and take each pill as prescribed. Thereby following her daily pill schedule, and doing so confidently.

This visual pill list was even taken along to routine doctor visits, the pharmacy and in case of an emergency. When medical professionals would ask which pills Stella was taking, the visual list was presented.

Referring to this list, together medical professionals, Kathi and Stella would discuss the list and further familiarize themselves with each pill—the what, when, why and how. In this way, the list served as a communication tool to exchange information between the medical professionals, Kathi and Stella. This dialogue and the information it provided further reinforced Stella’s ability to take her pills at home with confidence.

Once the stress and confusion was eliminated in Stella’s life, Kathi too was stress free. The focus was off the pills and back on their relationship. Stella was healthy and so was their relationship.

We want you to share in this story. Help yourself or your loved one:
  • Know and become familiar with pills
  • Strengthen relationships with loved ones, friends and network of care
  • Improve communication and dialogue with medical professionals
  • Build confidence in knowing each pill--the when, why, and how
  • Nurture a happier and healthier you! 
Stella and Kathi's relationship lives on in the Pill Pouch.

The Original Pill Pouch

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Safety Squad for Health

We visit the doctor seeking health. We may hand ourselves and our condition over, confident that the doctor will make us better. We thus disengage ourselves from the system. We allow the doctor to do their job: assess our symptoms and prescribe a course of action. We respond by filling the script and taking a medication. We then expect results.

In this model, we totally overlook our own responsibility. We too are responsible for our health and safety when seeking medical attention. Medication therapies and other prescriptions for wellness are only as successful as we are at following them with accuracy. Our accuracy is improved with knowledge. If we know 'what', 'why', 'how', we’ll stay safe and see better results.

When we leave the doctor’s office, our health and safety are in our own hands. To ensure our health is improved and safety preserved, we need to be knowledgeable—of our condition and how we can improve it.

How do we education ourselves? Communication is key.

It is imperative: Don't just listen, Understand. A doctor can talk at you—tell you your condition and what therapies or procedures will follow. If you merely listen you won't understand the deeper, more fundamental ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’. More complete understanding of your health condition and how the prescribed therapy helps will allow you to follow directions with accuracy, increase the efficiency of therapies, and safely improve your health.

Safety is in your hands. 10% of all hospital admissions are the result of medication errors, and that's just the beginning. The total annual cost of these errors is $250 - $300 B. Furthermore, 25% of all nursing home admissions are the result of these same errors. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Managing Meds With Expert Ease

Do you or does someone you love take multiple medications? Does it ever get confusing?

The misuse of prescription drugs is a common danger that can be avoided. With proper precaution and the right tools, errors and injury are preventable.

Manage Your Meds With Expert Ease. Managing multiple medications is complicated, even confusing. Each additional prescription increases the risk of mistake. Each pill has its own set of instructions and precautions. In order to optimize your medication therapy, avoid side effects, and be well, you are tasked with a lot to remember. Follow these helpful tips and be on your way to wellness with less confusion.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How Do We Eliminate Pill Confusion?

According research conducted by the Society of General Internal Medicine 41% of seniors reported taking 5 or more prescription medications.

A pink pill, a round pill, a blue one, a purple one, one that is oval, one that is square.  These medications come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and colors that even a trained professional - let alone the chronically ill patient - can find confusing.

Medication non-adherence is a severe challenge. As cited in a Bloomberg Businessweek article:
  • Nearly 3 in 4 Americans don't always take medication as directed
  • More than 1 in 3 hospital admission are medication-related 
  • ~125,000 premature deaths are attributed to medication non-adherence
  • This is an extra cost of ~$290 billion per year to patients, insurers and government health programs
Confusion is a significant factor in non-adherence.
Pill Confusion

How do we defeat Pill Confusion? Pill Pouch seems to have triumphed.  Check it out!