Through its Ready Campaign, the Federal Emergency Management Agency educates and empowers Americans to take some simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Ready asks individuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
Ready provides a list of items for the recommended emergency kit. First on the list? Prescription medications. See the full list of Ready emergency preparedness items here.
Helping patients track their prescription medications
Prescription medications top the Ready list because they are such a vital part of managing a chronic condition. The FDA estimates that 30% to 50% of chronic disease treatment failures are caused by medication non-adherence — resulting in 125,000 deaths. Patients become non-adherent for many reasons. Cost-barriers can certainly be a factor. But often, it comes down to the difficulty of tracking their medications and the instructions that go with them.
To help track medications, patients should maintain and up-to-date copy of their prescription drug list. The American Heart Association has a great printable list available. There are also many medication tracking apps that patients can download to their smart phone.
Whether they are preparing for an emergency or managing a chronic condition, your patients will benefit from understanding their prescriptions.
Encourage your patients to talk to you and their pharmacist about their medications. In addition, you can give them helpful tips for how to organize their medications at home. Check out our infographic below or download a printable PDF.