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Part of the disconnect between patients and the healthcare system is confusion, misinformation and subsequent minor and major medication complications. The numbers are staggering: the effects profound, and the costs: to overall health, lack of proper treatment and wasted money makes this issue of paramount importance. The solution is easily available and could utilize technology which is widely in use.
Each day I see avoidable problems with medication information entry into the records, easily avoidable negative interactions, and
a widespread confusion between patients, their doctor(s), pharmacies and insurance companies.
Instead of using an abacus to do calculus, the solution is in our hands: with a simple "smart" phone and combining technology already developed; it is within easy reach to avoid the consequences of medication errors, improve understanding, streamline our records, improve communication between all the levels of health care delivery.
Easy solutions to widespread problems are rare opportunities to help eliminate a far reaching, important problem.
Sometimes we get to see just how important a spark can be. According to this great article by #ProPublica - over 250,000 people are dying in the US alone due to medical errors (3rd leading cause of death).
Bob Shpiner is a brilliant doctor and this HiddenGenius technology challenge has the chance to help reduce the number of drug interactions and save literally thousands of lives!
Thank you Bob, #ProPublica, #NPR, and #JohnsHopkins surgeon Marty Makary for sharing this challenge with the world!
Melissa Sheldrick, a mother in Ontario lost her 8-year-old son due to a medication error. Yes, the alarming statistics are current reality. However, there are people in all corners of the world committed to finding ways to reduce these fatal and devastating errors, including Sheldrick herself. This competition cannot reduce all types of errors. However, it can take a measurable bite out of serious drug interaction problems and possibly save someone’s life. Maybe some HiddenGenius out there can code it in their basement?
The responsibility of ensuring medication safety does not lie in the hands of one person: we are all responsible. "The more safeguards that we can put in place, the better," Sheldrick said.
"There are so many different features that an app could have that would be beneficial," Sheldrick said, "Think about seniors or people that are chronically ill that have to take five or six prescriptions a day. Being able to have those medications organized in the palm of their hands would be great."
Read more of the Sheldrick's story here: http://hiddengenius.com/blog/posts/a-mother-committed-to-defeating-medication-errors-after-losing-8-year-old-son
According to CBS News, medication errors are on the rise.
"Every minute of every day, three Americans call a poison control center because they've made a major mistake with their medication.
Some have taken the wrong dose. Some have double-dosed, and others have taken the wrong medicine altogether.
The result: the rate of serious mix-ups has doubled since 2000, a new study reports.
Four out of 10 mistakes involve heart medications, painkillers or hormone therapy prescriptions, including insulin. And the errors often put patients in the hospital, the study found." -Alan Mozes, CBS News
This is fuel to our efforts of finding an app that will reduce these errors and save lives!!
According to the FDA, the costs associated with Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are $136 billion yearly. This cost is greater than the total costs of cardiovascular or diabetic care. This is a huge problem and I am confident that with the right app, we can help knock down the tragic statistics associated with medication errors and ADRs. Join the efforts!