When it comes to the ever-rising healthcare costs, there are few options you have to save. But here’s a preventable cost that’s taking a serious toll on health care.
And it’s to the tune of $290 billion.
The problem? Employees not taking their prescriptions correctly, or in some cases, not at all.
It turns out that 50% of Americans take more than one medication each day. And of those individuals, only half follow the drugs’ instructions, according to a study from the New England Research Institute.
When asked why, nearly a third of individuals said they “just forgot.” Each year, this forgetfulness directly leads to:
- 700,000 medical emergencies (from missed or double doses of prescriptions), and
- 126,000 hospitalizations.
And these medical issues, as well as the additional drugs needed to fix the problems, account for 20% to 25% of employers’ annual health costs, according to a recent report by Watson Wyatt and the National Group on Business Health.
Keep them in the loop
It should be pretty clear that a simple reminder to take their prescriptions could save your company a whole lot of money.
But a simple e-mail may not suffice. Consider getting HR to brainstorm with your provider to see if there are any programs they offer or could produce to instruct employees on the best ways to remind themselves of taking their prescriptions. It may seem like a simple thing, but the information won’t hurt.
Using tech reminders
Of course, technology is always helpful for tasks like this. One avenue is smartphones. There are a plethora of smartphone apps based around medical information and tools. Here are a few of the best prescription reminder apps:
- Med Tracker Lite. This app will allow you to input various prescriptions and set specific reminders for each one. It also creates a graph detailing what medicines have been taken over a period of time.
- MediSafe Virtual Pillbox. This also sets reminders but with a helpful feature: It can alert someone else, like a family member, if you don’t confirm with the app that you’ve taken the prescription.
- My Health Record Keeper: Will set reminders for prescriptions but is also an all-around medical information app. It will keep track of past appointments and suggest dates for follow-up appointments.