Disrupt Patient Education at MedStartr Momentum 2016

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PROBLEM
In the United States, 36% of adults (approximately 115 million) lack the required health literacy to read or act on prescription labels, patient handouts, understand pharmacist counseling, or to convey their needs to the pharmacist.  Low health literacy is associated with poorer health outcomes and higher hospitalization and mortality rates, as well as an increased risk of adverse medication events.

Furthermore, patients receive prescriptions in the mail or pick up prescriptions from busy pharmacy counters on a daily basis. Current barriers to effective medication counseling do not regularly allow time for the pharmacist to sit with the patient and discuss their medications for 10-15 minutes at the counter.  Pharmacists are under tremendous pressure to meet their performance metrics and will regularly cover the counseling points of three or four medications in fewer than two minutes. The patient is then sent home with stacks of medication leaflets that may be difficult to read. 


SOLUTION
DELIVER Consumer Medication Information (CMI), through accessible patient portals, bridging the medication education gap that exists between patients and their healthcare providers.

ACCESSIBLE and USEFUL education, with the intent of helping patients and their caregivers understand what they do and don’t know about their medication so they may take educated questions back to their own health care provider.

DESIGN CMI content with specific Federal Health Literacy guidelines in mind. Create a document that is more pleasing to the reader and easy to read, while also meeting all the necessary requirements listed in the FDA Useful Consumer Medication Information guidance document.


FORMAT CMI to allow consumers to read-along with an audible presentation of the CMI accessed seamlessly through their computer or mobile device.


Thanks for your support!
The AudibleRx Team:
Steve, Jill, Luke and Luka

Join Us In the Momentum Challenge 2016


MedStartr Momentum 2016 is an Annual Conference designed to drive innovation, adoption, and investment in the future of medicine. From BioTech to Health IT, companies will compete for a chance to get on stage in New York City. With Five Crowd Challenges designed to source, select, grow, and invest in the most Crowd-Validated concepts, there is no conference like #MedMo16. 
AudibleRx just submitted an application. Visit our platform page, sign up, and show us your support by giving us a LIKE or signing up your facility for a TRIAL or PILOT with the AudibleRx Accessible and Useful Consumer Medication Information platform.
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Do You Stand All Day?



I started my first hospital pharmacy job during the winter of 1988. It was a great learning experience, as my supervisor at the time helped me understand all the intricacies of running a hospital pharmacy.
 
My shift was usually from 12:30 PM to 9 PM, which freed up my mornings. Being young and full of energy, I took a morning job 2 to 4 days a week helping out a 77-year-old pharmacist named Fred who still ran his own successful independent store. I’d show up at 9 AM and work until noon, and then I’d drive across town and present at the hospital for my 12:30 shift.

Fred had varicose veins and it hurt him to stand for any length of time. His normal process was to sit in his chair with his leg up on a stool and verify the work his technicians and clerks did for him. He’d tell me stories about the 50+ years he spent standing behind the counter, paying no attention to the oncoming pain in his legs until it was too late.

At 24 years old, this was my first exposure to varicose veins. I’m sure we discussed it in pharmacy school, but it certainly didn’t stick as something important to remember. At the time, 77 years old seemed like a lifetime away, and I didn’t think anything like that would ever happen to me.

Ten years later, I was sitting in an orientation session for my new job at an outpatient pharmacy at the local community hospital. Sitting next to me was a gentleman named Howard, a retired pharmacist who owned his own store in town for many years. He’d recently sold his store to one of the chain entities that made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and now he was working relief in the hospital outpatient pharmacy.

Over the next 7 years or so, I had the privilege of working with Howard at least 1 or 2 days each month. He was one of the most respected and knowledgeable pharmacists I’d ever met. There were many occasions when a patient came to the store when Howard was working and asked a question about a device or product. Howard would go into great depth answering the patient’s question, while at the same time gaining another customer for our pharmacy. 

At 70+ years old, Howard had been standing on the job for well over 50 years. At one point, for some reason or other, he said he wanted to show me something. He bent over and pulled up his pant leg, lowered his sock, and showed me the dark blue, swollen knots all around his calf. 
 
Howard’s legs hurt all the time. He needed to take regular breaks to put his feet up. He said he wished someone had warned him about it when he was a young pharmacist. I hadn’t listened to Fred, but I was definitely listening to Howard. 

I was about 35 years old when Howard showed me his varicose veins. Now, I’m nearly 53 and have worn support socks to work just about every day since that discussion.
 
How Varicose Veins Form
Blood circulates through the arteries, providing oxygen to all of the tissues. The unoxygenated blood then needs to be returned to the heart through the veins. Over time, gravitational forces begin to fight against all the blood returning from the bottom of the leg all the way back up to the heart. 
 
When a vein becomes weakened in one particular location, or one of its tiny valves isn’t working well, the unoxygenated blood will accumulate, leading to a small, blue bulge. Over time, more blue bulges will form. They’ll become larger and begin to compress the surrounding nerve endings, making them difficult to ignore.

Varicose veins may form because we’re overweight or our veins have become weak over time. For Howard and Fred, however, they formed because they’d been standing all day, every day. That constant gravitational pressure over the course of 50+ years made it very likely for varicose veins to develop. Therefore, those standing all day long at work need to pay special attention to the health of their legs.

A Simple Fix
Support socks are made from strong, elasticized material that help our veins push the unoxygenated blood back up to the heart. If you start wearing these socks before you need them, chances are you’ll never develop varicose veins. 
 
If you stand all day for your job, do yourself a favor: buy some support socks.

- See more at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/steve-leuck-pharmd/2016/08/standing-all-day-at-the-pharmacy-takes-a-physical-toll#sthash.ONgnFD36.dpuf

Thanks
Steve

Excuse Me, Could You Please Direct Me To The Psychiatric Ward



I was in my final year of pharmacy school and midway through my clinical clerkship. Although many of my peers ended up in San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, and Los Angeles basin areas, the stars aligned for me to go to Oahu, Hawaii, for 9 months of practical training.

We cycled through 6 rotations, each lasting 6 weeks, to gain a broad look at the upcoming and changing pharmacy practice. We had 4 required rotations and 2 elective ones, and I chose a psychiatric rotation. 

We were in a large military facility, and I clearly remember how long it took to find the psychiatric unit in this tremendous hospital. Hospitals are always in some state of construction, and there’s always one portion of the facility that’s much older than the rest. In this hospital, it was definitely the psychiatric unit. After rounding many corners, walking past vast areas of plastic sheeting hanging from unfinished walls, going down long hall ways, riding multiple elevators, and crossing an open-air bridge 10 floors high, I finally entered its doors.

This particular rotation chronologically fell during the 6 weeks spanning Thanksgiving through Christmas. At the time, I had no idea it was the peak season for psychiatric professionals.

I was the lone pharmacy student on the unit during this rotation with 3 medical students, 2 psychiatric residents, the charge nurse, and the attending psychiatrist. Meeting with them every morning was intimidating initially, but I soon received an opportunity to participate.

We were all sitting in rounds one morning as one of the residents was talking about Buspar, which at the time in December 1986 was recently approved to treat anxiety. He had a question about the medication, and the entire room turned to look at me, the pharmacy student. I was able to stumble my way through the answer; however, the attending promptly stopped the discussion and asked me to please prepare a short presentation on the topic to discuss with the group  the following morning.

As students (and practitioners), this is how we learn. We’re asked questions, and if we don’t know the answer well enough to teach it to our peers, we study, research, and return to present our findings. So, I took my question back to the pharmacy office, shared it with my pharmacy student peers, and prepared a short presentation.

The next morning, I had the fantastic opportunity of presenting my first, of many, educational sessions to a group of physicians and nurses. I was surprisingly pleased at how attentive they were, listening to my words, asking pertinent questions, and engaging in meaningful discussion about the medical treatment of anxiety. At the end, there was neither fanfare nor flogging—we simply closed that portion of the meeting and went on to the next topic. 

So, I cut my teeth as a real participant in educating a medical team in a drafty psych unit at Christmastime on the island of Oahu. Whatever your setting or field of study, I hope you have the opportunity to take the time to answer questions with appropriate thought and meaning. There’s great personal satisfaction in researching the appropriate answer to a question and delivering it to your team.

- See more at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/steve-leuck-pharmd/2016/08/how-i-participated-on-the-medication-education-team-as-a-pharmacy-student#sthash.eRhVHgkR.dpuf

Thanks
Steve

Common Barriers to Effective Patient Counseling



As a patient, have you ever had a difficult time communicating with your pharmacist?



Thanks,
Steve

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