Organizing solutions that really have the potential to make life loads better for many people can be a total game changer, and organizing medications is definitely one of those things! I’m not just talking about where to put your prescription bottles on the shelf, like I did planned with my recent foot surgery. There are some completely new ways for you to organize and dispense your own and your family’s medications.
While we may all agree that defense is the best offense when it comes to your health, there is no denying that taking your prescriptions on time and correctly can be critical to recovery or health maintenance. My own personal theory is that if I have the chance to change my personal habits and get off of a prescribed medication, prescription adherence is the quickest way for me to accomplish that goal. But if prescribed medications can’t be eliminated by lifestyle changes, then adherence is even more important. As many as 75 percent of patients (and 50 percent of chronically ill patients) fail to adhere to, or comply with physician prescribed treatment regimens, according to this report from CVS.
Besides those little plastic day/week/month trays for pills, what else can you do to make organizing medications easier?
Organize pills at the pharmacy: If you love the convenience of online shopping, then you are going to love this newest item I just learned about from my NAPO colleague Anna Sicalides, called PillPack.com. This would be a great solution for any busy person or young person who needs to learn how to take their medications on a regular schedule. Watch their very sexy, peaceful video and let me know if you want this, like, right now for someone you love.
Organize your pills into doses: If you like the idea, but are a little more of a DIY-er, or you have scripts that change often, perhaps this medication blister-pack option works better for you. Thanks to NAPO member Carri LaCroix Pan for bringing this to my attention.
Organize your pills and other information: I also like that you can create your own pill packs and label them with different information and times. This works especially well if you are taking prescription medications and over-the-counter supplements, like I was. Or if you need to write additional information about a liquid, topical or injectable medication due at a certain time.
Track your medication history and spending: One thing that many people still don’t know is that you can track all of your scripts and receipts through your pharmacy, which is an incentive to stick with one or two pharmacies. If you are getting ready to file your taxes just now, you can go back to your pharmacy and ask them to print a report of all your medications and charges from last year. It’s so convenient to have that information all in one place, and can reduce a lot of paper clutter.
There’s an app for your pharmacy: Every major local pharmacy has a smartphone app now. Walgreens, RiteAid, and CVS are the biggies in my area, and since CVS is now inside Target, getting your scripts ordered, filled, and picked up couldn’t be easier. I haven’t ordered scripts via mail order lately, but these pharmacy warehouses have been the leader in data handling for decades, so if you are using them, you already know how convenient they can be.
There’s an app for your medications: If what you need is better reminding about when to take your medications or self-administer a test like blood glucose or blood pressure, even if there is complicated timing and interaction, then check out the iOS MediSafe app. Here’s the link to the Android Medisafe app. They are absolutely not the only medical tracking app, so look around if this one doesn’t do what you need it to do.
If you’ve got a chronic condition in your family, I’d love to hear if you are using one of these solutions or something else that you like even better to organize your medications. Please leave a comment below.