One problem with handling multiple medications is remembering when to take them. This is a problem doctors often call “non-compliance,” which is a failure to act according to prescribed medication dosage schedules. While this might seem like a menial problem, it has drastic consequences. Forgetting to take your medications can slow down the healing process and, in some cases, lead to conditions and even death.
More often than not, non-compliance is rooted in more complex issues than just forgetfulness. We will delve deeper into non-compliance and what you can do to reduce and eliminate the problem.
Why non-compliance is so common
Humans tend to forget. For people with busy lifestyles, failing to take meds is a common problem. In some cases, medication can work so well that people forget to take it; it’s also possible that the expected side effects did not occur, hence the forgetting.
However, there are some cases where people may purposely skip a dosage. For example, people might skip taking medicine just to extend the lifespan of the bottle, which is usually the case with expensive drugs. Others may also purposefully do it because of a side effect they do not like, such as sleepiness and headaches. Regardless, the result is still the same, and the consequences can be harsh.
How to address non-compliance
This problem has been around for many years, but there have been many attempts to help patients remember to take their medicine. For example, nurses can call patients frequently to collect information and remind them to take their medications at specific times. Labels have also been placed on the pillboxes outlining dosing schedules and sizes so that users can easily remember how much and how often.
The above are more traditional ways of reminding patients to take their meds. Today, everyone has a phone, and one of the most effective ways to remind patients to take their meds is through the phone. For instance, our MedManage application offers logging and managing features to keep track of your medication and remind you whenever you need to take it.
This is even more effective with the younger generation, as they essentially bring their phone wherever they go. With push notifications, alarms, and similar features, they could be reminded whenever they need to take their medication. Plus, doctors can access data through this app to see how compliant a patient is with their medication. From there, they would be able to take measures to remind them.
Reminding your patients to take their meds is a must, especially if it is a critical prescription that can negatively affect their life if not taken. Call-ins, phone applications, and more will go a long way to reduce non-compliance.
That being said, one of the most effective ways to remind your patients to take their medication is to educate them on what happens if they do not. When they understand what to expect from non-compliance, they would have a much higher chance of taking the meds as needed.
My Medication Log is a provider of the app MedManage, which helps individuals track and manage their medication. Use our med log tracking application today and stay on top of your prescriptions.