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In 2019-2021, the medical community threw all efforts into the fight against coronavirus. At the same time, multiple other medical treatments were delegated to telemedicine as “non-essential.”
Another pandemic that seldom caught media attention was developing no less rapidly — polypharmacy and drug prescription misuse.
Polypharmacy is the simultaneous use of multiple drugs, usually more than five, at the same time. Drug prescription misuse does not require an additional explanation. Statistics are genuinely staggering. From 10% to as high as 99% (depending on the age group) of adults are involved in either or both.
Luckily for many people who choose to treat medication intake seriously, this is one of the solvable problems using software developed these days.
This is where medication management and medication tracking come in.
Simply put, medication management is a strategy designed and implemented to ensure timely and proper intake of medications.
In many cases, “medication management” and “medication tracking” tend to be used interchangeably. However, medication tracking is more of a technical flow within more extensive medication management.
For obvious reasons, medication management and the use of medication tracking software have a range of benefits for all groups of stakeholders involved — physicians and nurses, hospital management, patients and their relatives, society at large.
Medication tracking software typically contains complete information on the previously and currently taken medications and the existing allergies.
The system will send alerts if the physician is prescribing a drug that might conflict with other medicines. This minimizes the possibility of human error to the very minimum (keep in mind that nearly all doctors are overworking these days).
Patients switch healthcare providers all the time:
Having the entire history of medical & medication records in one place helps newly assigned doctors to understand the whole picture. And thus make the right choice in the prescription of new medicines.
Apart from the standard medication-related component, many medication tracking solutions offer additional features, such as tracking sugar level, blood pressure, weight loss, and so on. These other features, in many cases, serve as the early warning system detecting the first sign of a new disease, wrong medication intake, etc.
Despite serving a serious purpose, a medication tracker looks pretty simple and is usually user-friendly for all age categories. The icons are self-explanatory, the interface is minimal and not overloaded with extras.
The medication tracker apps tend to be relatively lightweight. They do not eat up much memory on the phones and do not require super-quick Internet.
Let’s be honest, not only older adults need them. Medication trackers may have reminders on the daily dose, monthly refills, regular blood tests, etc.
Example: A medication tracker can use GPS to help patients find a pharmacy nearby, the nearest emergency room, or a lab with the lowest prices for specific tests (which are not always covered by insurance, unfortunately).
As of today, the market of medication tracking software solutions is quite crowded already. The available alternatives can speak several languages, offer integrations with other healthcare software solutions, and compete in terms of both features and pricing.
How do you make sure you are getting the perfect fit?
Personal medical records are subject to stringent regulations these days. Both the tracker app itself and the third-party integrations it is using must be HIPAA compliant. No discussion here.
Such a synchronization helps relatives and the consulting physician rest assured that all medications are being taken as scheduled. The system would also send alerts to the physician, nearest clinic or next of kin in an emergency.
Pharma impacts on our bodies are always long-term. We might be changing the third doctor, and the chemical trace from the medication prescribed by the first one is still in our body. Having a detailed library of medical records for several years might save one’s life.
This tiny feature might be super helpful for both the doctor, the patients. To be taken with or after food? How many times a day? Where is the nearest pharmacy selling this? Side effects to watch — all this goes into the Comments section.
Positive reviews, YouTube tutorials, and physician recommendations are helpful, but give it a test drive yourself. The app must be intuitive and convenient for a user since Day 1. Remember that improper use of the app — in this particular case — might lead to medication misuse. And this is one of those mistakes that nobody wants to make.
Despite all the interface simplicity, the medication tracker is no fitness tracker. This software solution is designed to save people’s lives and keep them healthy for as long as possible.
Would you entrust this to a team of outsourcers working on a dozen of very different software projects at the same time? Probably not. Look for a vendor with experience, expertise, and healthcare compliance standards.
Glorium has been on the market for over 10 years by now. We are HIPAA/HITRUST and ISO 13485 certified. As of 2021, over 5 mln patients and physicians are using Glorium’s applications designed for hospital management, telehealth, teleradiology, laboratory systems and more.
Contact us today if you would like to have a medication tracker or a medication management system designed for specific purposes of your hospital, lab or a similar medical institution.
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