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The Staggering Costs of Prescription Errors

Part of a patient’s recovery journey is providing them with educational content so they are well-informed about their condition and its treatment. Helping them maintain better health literacy is to provide them with the right information at the right time about their medications to avoid errors.

Medication errors are a big drain on hospital resources on many fronts. According the National Institutes of Health, medication errors affected more than 7 million patients in 2016, cost $21 billion annually across all care settings, and cause up to 1 million emergency room visits each year. The study reports that approximately 30% of patients have at least one prescription discrepancy at the time of discharge.

A lack of knowledge and information about their prescriptions can cause:

  • Increased progression of the disease
  • Increased time in the hospital
  • Additional doctor and emergency room visits
  • Increased costs for hospital, operational costs and labor hours

Medication errors can occur at many points along the patient recovery path: at dispensation, initial prescribing and outpatient care, so it’s critical for patients and their caregivers to be armed with education about what they’ve been prescribed.

Prescription App Helps Patients Avoid Readmission

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If a patient has an option to obtain education at a time that fits their schedule and a way to see exactly what has been prescribed, they will have a better recovery period and outcome. Using the HCI prescription app called the Rx App, powered by Android, as part of an overall health recovery strategy on their in-room interactive television, patients can quickly identify drugs and medications that have been prescribed for them. The Rx App includes images of medications in close-up so they can ensure they have the right medications. Caregivers, such as family members or friends who are assisting them can become partners to ensure medication errors don’t happen. With the Rx Prescription App, patients who acquire additional information on their prescriptions have:

  • A full description of their medicines
  • Educational videos and informational pictures to identify their correct meds
  • Side effects and warnings information

In conjunction with HCI’s Digital Whiteboards, the Rx App provides the same information and educational content right on the in-room Interactive Patient Whiteboard for quick search and viewing by both patients, caregivers and clinical staff.

Reduce Task Saturation and Improve Outcomes

The Rx Prescription app offers a selection to have patient prescriptions filled automatically at the facility Pharmacy prior to discharge, and a search function so they can search for the name of their medication to get details and confirm what they have is what was prescribed. Digital educational content available through the Rx App, fed by HCI’s enterprise-wide integration platform, MediaCare, offers an additional safeguard for patients to arm themselves with the right information at the right time. With the RxbApp, staff task saturation can be reduced with automatic prescription refills directed straight to the pharmacy, eliminating the need for any manual paperwork by the Care Team or Pharmacy that could be misinterpreted or misread. Hospital pharmacy prescription refills driven by MediaCare increases on-site Pharmacy profitability, and reports can be generated through MediaCare to produce a historical record of prescribed medications.

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When it’s time for discharge, support your patient’s best health results by partnering with them using the HCI Rx App to provide the most accurate information they can get to support their best outcome.

Contact HCI today to schedule an online or in-person demo and experience how HCI supports healthcare providers avoid costly medical errors.