For several years, my father has been fighting cancer and heart disease. His medical problems brought him to visit multiple doctors and specialists at several different hospitals and ERs - all while being on a large regimen of prescription drugs.
With every visit to any healthcare provider, the first and most important information gathered is a patients' current medication regimen and medication allergies. The reason for this is simple; a doctor needs to know what is currently in your body before anything else can be administered.
With every visit to a hospital or doctor, my father would have to go over all his medications with the nurse or attendant before he could be seen. With the immense amount of prescriptions drugs, numbering up to 19 at one point, this was very time consuming and in some cases even delayed needy medical treatment (not to mention the inconvenience of carrying in all your prescription bottles around.)
More then four years ago, my father standardized this process by creating a card that listed all the basic information needed, nicely printed on a credit card size laminate card that fits in his wallet. He began using his card and experienced a great response and acceptance of this practice. The top doctors and hospitals in and around the Boston area started asking "Where did you get this card?" It streamlined the screening process, especially in emergency situations, allowing him to be treated right away with doctors administering needed drugs faster.
Over the past few years, I have personally witnessed not only praise on this card by nurses and doctors, but instances where my father was admitted faster and treated quicker due to this card. In one instance, my father was brought to the emergency room via life-flight; he was having heart trouble and was mostly incoherent. As the ER Doctor was trying to understand what medications may be in my father's blood stream, my mother took his Prescription Information Card out of his wallet and gave it to the doctor. The doctor took a few seconds to look at it then immediately proceeded with instructions on what to administer to help my father. Without the card, there would have been a critical if not deadly delay in the care that was administered.
Researching the importance of knowing about your regimen of prescription drugs brought into light that there are over 2 million incidents of ADRs ("Adverse Drug Reactions") of which over 770,000 cause injury and death in the U.S. each year. A large number of these ADR cases are due to a drug-to-drug interaction. This is where a drug interacts negatively with another drug that is already in your system. This is one of the most preventable ADRs, through proper communication of prescription regimens.
There is an obvious need for people to organize and communicate their current medication regimens. Opening up communication between a patient and a healthcare provider could very well save injury and possibly a life. Additionally, this is a tremendous savings for the healthcare facility, considering Adverse Drug events cost up to $5.6 million each year per hospital!
You will find the Rx InfoCard useful, comforting and down right smart to carry!