Many patients have inadequate knowledge regarding their prescribed drugs. Therefore, it is easy for patients to make serious errors with their drugs. Statistics reveal that over 300,000 Americans contact the Poison Control Center every year to ask for help with a medication mistake (Poison Control Center, 2020). Importantly, research indicates that the rate of severe errors is increasing, with many of them leading to hospitalization. Though errors remain inevitable, patient education when prescribing drugs can reduce their likelihood. Clinicians must focus on medication education to help patients avoid making medication-related mistakes.
Consequences of Not Educating Patients
Lack of patient education can lead to increased medication non-adherence. Medication non-compliance can result in lower quality of life, poor clinical outcomes, increased hospitalizations, and higher healthcare costs (Poison Control Center, 2020). When patients lack knowledge about their conditions and treatments, they feel less inspired to adhere to the prescribed medications.
What Can Be Done To Help Patients
Clinicians can help patients by providing information that is specific to their medical needs. Prescribed educational content is considered the most effective approach in reinforcing patients’ overall disease management plan. The information must be specific to the individual’s condition and delivered in the manner they prefer. Patients must be able to review the information and ask questions. Increasing patients’ access to critical health information, such as understanding their medications’ side effects, empowers them to better take care of themselves. Moreover, people prefer different learning styles: while some learn best by writing, others prefer videos. Therefore, deploying various patient education tools can help patients receive actionable information at the right time.
Poison Control Center (2020). Medication Errors. Retrieved on 25th August from https://www.poison.org/articles/2012-feb/medication-errors