Friday, January 27, 2017

Misunderstood Prescription Labels Lead to 7,000 Deaths a Year

Misunderstood Prescription Labels Lead to 7,000 Deaths a Year
ProLiteracy Blog: 12.30.2016 by Michele Bellso

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals are able to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health information can be overwhelming, even for people with advanced literacy skills. Moreover, information provided in a stressful or unfamiliar situation is unlikely to be retained. The health care industry estimates that an excess of $230 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy.

Only 12 percent of adults have a high level of health literacy, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. In other words, nearly nine out of 10 adults lack the skills needed to fully manage their health care and prevent disease. Fourteen percent of adults are considered to have low health literacy. These adults are more likely to report their health as poor, and are more likely to lack health insurance than adults with high health literacy. Low literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes, higher rates of hospitalization, and less use of preventive services. All of these are linked to higher health care costs.

How many people (at home) mistakenly take the wrong dose of their medicine?

In 2005, Target introduced the ClearRx prescription bottles. The signature red container opened on the bottom, which allowed the label to wrap around the top, so it could be seen from above. It included a flat surface that customers found easier to read than the typical curved pill bottle, and it came with color-coded rings to help family members quickly tell their medicines apart. As anyone who takes multiple medications knows, taking the right medication at the right time is crucial to treatment and can prevent dangerous and sometimes lethal mistakes.  READ MORE @

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