Monthly Archives: June 2016
Medication Non-Adherence is a rising problem in the United States and is continuously resulting in the loss of lives and money. Last year alone, 125,000 of lives lost in the United States were due to medication non-adherence. Missing or confusing medication can cause tremendous and serious consequences. Medication non-adherence resulted in 34%-69% of hospital visits in 2015 alone. Aside from the rising amount of hospitalizations in the United States, 64% of those who visited the hospital in 2015 were later re-admitted due to medication errors. These rates are staggering, and even more concerning, is the average cost of an individual hospitalization: $3,575.
Medication non-adherence has taken a toll on Americans’ health and economy. The exponential increase in hospitalizations due to medication adherence issues has created a $300,000,000,000 problem. Though Congress must take initiative by creating policies to increase medication adherence, individuals can kick start this change on a lesser level by implementing medication adherence and safety precautions into their day to day lives. Simple changes to daily, monthly, and annual routines may include cleaning out medicine cabinets, making sure all medication is stored away from children, and helping the elderly classify and manage medications.
The month of June is recognized as National Safety Month, and what better way to become involved than to make sure that all of your medications are stored away safely! Over 100 children are rushed to the emergency room per day due to easily accessible medicine cabinets. Regardless of whether the child ingests medication purposefully or not, these accidents are easily avoidable. Keep yourself and your child safe by following these easy tips!
- Clean out your medicine cabinet at the beginning of each month. This will help to ensure that expired medications or those that are no longer part of a daily regimen are fully unavailable to all.
- If you have young children, make sure medicine cabinets are far out of reach. Children who are left alone or unsupervised for only a moment in bathroom should not be able to access the medicine cabinet.
- Consider a lock on your medicine cabinet. This will ensure that no one but yourself will have access to medication.
- Consider a locked medication dispenser. In 2012, 5% of visits to the emergency room were the result of a caretaker providing the wrong medication dosage to their child.
Mistakes do happen, but medication errors are avoidable! Celebrate the beginning of National Safety Month by cleaning and reinforcing your medicine cabinets!