Hospitals are great. They’re cold, bright and there’s always the heart-warming scent of antiseptic. Now, what would you do if I said you could increase your chances of going to a hospital or needing medical assistance with just one easy step? I know, too good to be true. But here’s the thing, if you decrease your medication adherence starting today, you could see a 15% increase in hospital visits and emergency service needs! So put those pills down and leave the door unlocked, the ambulance will arrive shortly.
For those of you that don’t think an increase in hospital visits and medical bills is fun, keep taking your meds. A study focusing on diabetic patients saw a 15% increase in the need for medical services and hospitalization due to a decrease in proper medication dosing. The same study also found a 13% decrease in those same needs simply by improving medication adherence.
Taking medications regularly and through the full course is important. If it’s to treat an infection than it’s critical. Infections can get worse and be harder to treat if the antibiotic is stopped prematurely. Whatever is still alive isn’t going to give up easily and will come back with vengeance (just think of Die Hard).
If you’re not following your treatment schedule carefully then you may be taking up hospital space that could be used for someone who really needs it. This isn’t just damaging to you, but to society as a whole. More people in hospitals mean fewer resources to go around. It also means higher costs both individually and for the country. Not everyone who needs medical attention will be able to receive it when they need it. Basically, not following a plan to successful recovery is selfish. And you’re not a selfish person, are you? Didn’t think so. So keep up with your treatment and stay on the bandwagon to a successful recovery.
For some people, the issue is remembering to take their medication in the first place. Luckily, we’ve gotten to the point where there are a number of high-quality products available that can help. For instance, users of the MedMinder electronic pill dispenser have a collective average of over 90% medication adherence. That’s outstanding. If you or someone you know has trouble taking medications then try looking into a product or service to help them stay in control and avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
If you’re not taking a medication because you dislike it or are having an adverse reaction, talk to a medical professional about alternative treatments. Not being proactive when dealing with a medical issue is damaging not only to you but those around you. Help everyone by helping yourself.
So if saving money, time and lives sounds like your cup of tea, keep up with your medications. Stay smart. Stay healthy. Stay on track.