New technique may help remind patients to take their medication.

Ensuring that patients take their prescribed medication at the correct time, in the right amount, is an ongoing headache in the medical community. A significant portion of antibiotics, pain killers, and medication that treats chronic conditions is not taken properly which reduces its effectiveness or exacerbates the conditions. Another serious concern is patients who fail to take their pre-surgical medications, which could lead to complications.

According to a study presented at the Anesthesiology 2016 annual meeting, patients provided with a simple instruction sheet are more likely to take their medication regularly. Traditionally, patients receive verbal instructions at a pre-assessment clinic before their surgery.

The study compared patients who were verbally instructed with those who receive written instructions. The study found a 20 percent increase in patients who received written instructions took their medication correctly. The number of patients who incorrectly took their medication dropped from 42 to 25 percent and those who omitted to take the medication dropped from six percent to two percent.

Doctors and hospitals are under a duty to regularly update their procedures to incorporate the latest best practices, to provide the best possible care. The results from this study are relatively recent, however, they could lead to a new practice among hospitals and a contemporary new standard of care. If you were injured due to a medical error, then you may want to consult with a lawyer who can review your case. An attorney can help you secure a fair settlement to cover your medical expenses.

Source: Science Daily, "Simple instruction sheet helps patients correctly take regular medications before surgery," American Society of Anesthesiologists, October 24, 2016

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