Is it difficult for you to remember to take your medications on time and on a consistent basis? You aren’t alone. Regardless of whether you take medications for a specific healthcare intervention or simply try to stay consistent with the intake of supplements like vitamins, medication alerts are beneficial tools to ensure a healthy life. Furthermore, their utility does not stop with keeping your medication and supplements on track. You can also share Medication Alerts with your care team via multiple facets. This is to ensure that your care teams are aware of the progress of your healthcare journey.
But what the effects of inconsistently adhering to your medication plan? This is a great question. There is a multitude of answers and outcomes that depend on the pharmaceutical intervention being implemented. This stated, let’s look at what Medication Adherence is and why it is important as a whole.
Thanks to the CareClinic app, it is seamless to create medication alerts. As individuals can leverage the application to keep track of their drugs, both short and long term. For instance, you might give single-dose medicine for necessity. You can record these within the application, as it will help you follow your treatment when is the most effective at a particular time.
What is Medication Adherence?
While Medication Adherence is a fairly simple concept, its importance cannot be understated. To put it simply, Medication Adherence refers to whether patients take their medications as prescribed. Medication Adherence includes the following aspects:
- Frequency: The number of times you may need to take the medication with a period of time.
- Dosage: The amount of/ potency of the medication prescribed.
- Timing: The time you take the medication. (IE. Time of day, With or Without Food, etc.)
- Route of Administration: The way in which you take the medication. (IE. Orally, Powder mixed in water etc.)
- Duration: The prescribed length of time that you are to take the medication.
There may be additional aspects to consider when adhering to your prescribed pharmaceutical intervention. This stated, it is extremely important to understand and carry out what is recommended to you by your doctor. This ensures that the medications you are taking are as effective as possible. For example, a study conducted in 2009 clearly indicated that “high adherence to antihypertensive medications was associated with higher odds of blood pressure control compared with those with medium or low levels of adherence.” (R)
Ultimately, Medication Adherence is essential to successfully implementing your prescribed medication intervention. Ensuring that you’re following the direction of your doctor is imperative to ensuring that medications work effectively and as intended.
You can use the CareClinic health app to keep track of everything regarding your wellbeing. You can use it to record symptoms of various conditions, such as vomiting or fever. The health history can be reviewed and exported in the form of monthly reports, to be shared with those in your circle of care (clinicians or loved ones).
Difficulties with Medication Adherence
Adhering to a prescribed medication plan is not an easy task for many individuals. Medication Adherence can be additionally difficult depending on the level of change your life requires after being prescribed medication. Moreover, it’s hard to create new, seemingly insignificant habits – particularly when the habit is as small as swallowing a pill. But why? The answer is simple, as change is uncomfortable, and we all require reminders to ensure we stay on track while on health journeys.
Enter: Pill Reminders, specifically Medication Alerts.
What are Medication Alerts?
This may be a fairly straightforward question for the majority of people who take medication. This stated, medication alerts can come in multiple forms. Medication Alerts are customizable notifications that ensure Medication Adherence.
To begin, a Medication Alert is a message or notification that is received via your phone, computer, email and even smart-watch. In particular, these notifications remind you to take your medication at pre-programmed times throughout the day. These messages are provided from what is colloquially known as a “pill reminder”.
As you can imagine, medication alerts are extremely helpful for those who require consistent pharmaceutical intervention in order to stay healthy. Individuals can find consistent reminders annoying and intrusive; however, the utility of these reminders cannot be understated. Taking this into consideration, many medication alert services enable their users to control the types of reminders they receive through different notification types.
As you may be aware, there are many types of notifications you can use on your mobile device. As a standard, all alerts normally allow you to contain the following characteristics:
- A sound to notify you that a medication must be taken
- A visual signal on the device’s screen to specify what the sound was played for (IE. What medication must be taken etc.)
- The ability to customize the frequency of the notification
Let’s take a deeper look into the types that would be beneficial for use as a Medication Alert.
Alarms as Medication Alerts
Starting with the most perceptible of all medication alerts, the Alarm-style notification is characterized by a notification that does not allow you to continue to utilize the device in which the medication alert is being played. These medication alerts are best described by comparing them to an alarm clock. Noises will be played and a visual signal will be displayed on the screen of the device for an elongated period of time until it has been dismissed or “snoozed”.
Reminder-styled notifications are a subset of medication alerts that can be implemented in three main ways that are most effective if used in conjunction with each other. These include Lock Screen Reminders, Banner Reminders and Notification Centre Reminders. Reminder-styled notifications are characterized by allowing the continued use of the device while the remainder is being displayed. Third-party applications, including CareClinic, use this notification style.
Lock Screen Pill Reminders
Lock Screen Reminders are arguably the most important form a reminder can take – particularly while utilized on a mobile device. Usually making use of a short notification sound to get the device owner’s attention, the Lock Screen Reminder wakes up the screen of the device and displays a pop-up. The content of this pop-up varies and is sometimes customizable; however, information regarding the medication that should be taken is usually included. This form of a reminder-styled medication alert is important to utilize as it uses a sound and pop-up that wakes the device, ensuring that the device owner is notified of the medication alert while the device is not in use. The pop-up generated normally remains on the lock screen of the device until it is unlocked.
Banner Reminders for Medication Alerts
The Banner Reminders are similar to the Lock Screen Reminders. In fact, they only differ in three main facets: When they are displayed, how they are displayed and how long they last on screen. Firstly, Banner Reminders will only be displayed while the device is in use. In other words, since the device is unlocked and in use, it is more useful to use a “banner” that appears across the top (mobile device) or corner (PC/Mac) of the screen to notify the user of the medication alert. Furthermore, these banners are temporary in order to allow you to not be impeded by their presence on the screen, leaving the screen after a set time if not interacted with.
Notification Centre of Reminders
You may be thinking to yourself, “If both Lock Screen and Banner Reminders temporary, where do they go after they disappear? How can I access a reminder-style medication alert after it has initially popped up?”. This a great question. This is where the Notification Centre Reminders are extremely helpful. In the case that you were unable to view and/interact with the medication alert prior to the banner disappearing, the built-in notification centre in your device has got you covered. Accessed in multiple ways (dependent on the type of device), the Notification Centre Reminder section of your device will allow you to view all missed reminder notifications, ensuring that you are able to keep track of all your pill-reminder needs.
Summary of Medication Alerts
Ultimately, there are multiple ways to create medication alerts. With a greater understanding of how you are able to customize these alerts to better serve your lifestyle and preferences, you are well prepared to adhere to the recommended medication plan that has been given to you by your doctor. This stated, here are a few notes to consider when setting these medication alerts:
- Ensure you use the correct notification style for you. If you only require a pill reminder that only notifies you once, an Alarm may be the right choice for you; however, a reminder may be a better fit for you if you benefit from frequent notifications.
- Understand the intrusiveness of each alert type. Medication Alerts have great utility, and they are an effective tool for managing your health. This stated, be sure to use the alerts type that would be most beneficial for you. These are customizable via your settings on your mobile device.
- No matter what type of alerts you choose, be sure to use them to their fullest. This includes using pertinent information for taking the medication, ensuring your notifications are turned on, and – most importantly – actually acting on the medication alert. Don’t allow yourself to “snooze” the alarm or reminder.
CareClinic asks for permission to provide you with all three types of reminders: Lock Screen, Banner and Notification Centre Reminders. As a recommendation, it is best to utilize all three reminders, as it ensures that you are able to get notified of medication alerts as promptly as possible.
Likewise, you should now understand what Medication Adherence is and why it is valuable. In addition, you understand how pill reminders and Medication Alerts can help you achieve adherence through customizable Alarms and Reminders. Moving forward, let’s talk about how we can set customize reminders using the CareClinic app.
Using CareClinic for Medication Alerts
CareClinic is an all-in-one health tracker app that makes it extremely easy to keep track of all of your health needs. Not only is it a fully comprehensive Medication Alert service, but CareClinic also allows its users to track their nutrition, activity levels, symptoms and much more. Be sure to read through our other blog posts here to learn about the full functionality of CareClinic as well as other health-related topics.
Creating Medication Alerts
Using CareClinic for Medication Alerts is easy. Simply follow this list of steps:
- Open the CareClinic app and create a care plan and account.
- Moving to the “Plan” tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Select the “+” sign at the top right-hand corner
- Select “Medicine and Supplements”.
- From this screen, you are able to simply search for the medication that you are looking to track and receive alerts for.
- Select the medication you are looking to add to the care plan and track Medication Adherence details. (IE. Dose Quantity, Dose Form, Duration, Notes etc.)
- At the bottom of these details, you are able to set up 5 medication alerts by selecting the “Add Reminder” button.
- Using this screen to fill in the details of when you want a Medication Alerts to notify you, select “Confirm”.
- If you need to set an additional reminder for the same medication, simply repeat steps 6 and 7.
- Select the save function at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Now you have officially created your own Medication Alert using the CareClinic app. As stated, by default you will be notified of all three types of reminders. Reminders are customizable through the settings section of your phone. You are able to set the type of reminder (in iOS) via the screen depicted.
Additional CareClinic Features to Manage Your Health
For many people setting these medication alerts suffice in helping them attaining Medication Adherence; however, CareClinic and its value doesn’t stop there.
Integrating the Care Team Features
Your Care Team is your support group with whom you can share your health journey. Incorporating your loved ones into your health journey no longer needs to be a difficult conversation. It can easily be a quick upload to your CareClinic app, this will allow your loved ones to have access to data you want to share. CareClinic securely stores your information and shares it with those you select in your Care Team. This can include anyone you want like such as friends or family.
CareClinic will safely share your private reports with members of your care team. As a result, your Care Team can receive email notifications once you take your medications and if you forget they can gently remind you. Not only does the Care Team function allow your family and care providers to have a deeper insight into your health care interventions, it allows them to better support you in your healthcare journey – allowing them to check in on the progression of your day-to-day needs.
In Addition, CareClinic is compatible with your Apple Watch Health monitoring system, which allows you to view your Medication Alerts on all of your mobile smart devices.
Using Medical Reports for Health Insights
Medical reports are another great and important feature in the CareClinic app. They can provide a lot of insight into your medication needs, potential side effects and any correlations between your prescriptions and day-to-day quality of life. CareClinic’s reports consider your logs in all features – for example, dairy, nutrition, activities, symptoms, etc., and subsequently, generate reports to show the associations between those entries. These connections are extremely helpful for learning more about yourself and any chronic issue changes.
Medication Alerts with Diary Entries
The diary entry feature lets you make entries about your daily life. Use the diary entry feature of the app as a part of your medication alert system to track the day-to-day symptoms you experience and any supplements medications you take. It is helpful to have an overall idea of how pain and/or side effects intervene in your activities of daily life.
Therapy Records with Pill Reminders
Keeping a record of any therapies you follow to get rid of the symptoms you experience. The therapy feature of the CareClinic app could potentially help you in ensuring Medication Adherence.
Symptom Tracking with Pill Reminders
The symptom tracker functions as a part of the medication tracker and lets you add symptoms you are experiencing. You can track the symptoms to understand the worsening of your symptoms or the progress of your treatment with medicines and supplements. If you start tracking your symptoms before seeking medical attention, you can compare how well the therapy relieves you from symptoms after visiting the doctor’s office.
Activity Tracking with Medical Alerts
Use this feature to track any type of physical activity, as your activity tracker helps you identify any actions that worsen or relieves your symptoms.
Ultimately, the CareClinic Medication Alert tool is a great way to keep on top of your prescriptions through its large medication and supplement database. After selection, CareClinic will even notify you if any of your medications will interact with each other negatively.
Above all, using a Medication Alert system is not only easy but a great tool to achieve Medication Adherence. Medications that are prescribed to you are intended to improve your quality of life and make you healthier. If you take anything away from this article, it should be that fitting your medication regimen into your schedule should be done in a way that can be repeated consistently. CareClinic’s medication tracker is a great way to ensure that you remember to take your medicine, adhere to your prescription and gain the intended benefits from the medication and supplements you are taking.