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Canadian health groups create digital medication record app
June 22nd, 2012
OTTAWA – Seven leading health care organizations in Canada have partnered to launch new digital tools to help Canadians use their medications properly and safely.
Announced this week, the tools include MyMedRec, a free mobile application for the iPhone and iPad, and the informational website KnowledgeIsTheBestMedicine.org. Both were developed by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada with input from Canadian patient groups and health care provider organizations.
Groups participating in the effort include Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the Canadian Pharmacists Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada), the Best Medicines Coalition, the Canadian Nurses Association and the Victorian Order of Nurses.
MyMedRec is designed to put an electronic medication and immunization record at the fingertips of patients and caregivers. Features include refill and dose reminders, storage of medication histories, multiple patient profiles, e-mail and picture capabilities, and contact information for prescribers and pharmacies.
The tool is aimed at helping patients and caregivers compile a full list of their medications — prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural health products — to share with their health care team as they see fit. The app is also supported by the KnowledgeIsTheBestMedicine.org website, which contains health information, links and safe medication use tips, plus downloadable medication records for those who don't have an iPhone.
"For a pharmacist, having an accurate record of the medications a patient is taking is critical to providing the best possible care. This app and these tools will be very valuable for pharmacists, especially when doing medication reviews with patients," Janet Cooper, senior director of professional and membership affairs at the Canadian Pharmacists Association, said in a statement.
"ISMP Canada is very pleased to be engaged in the collaborative development of the Knowledge is the Best Medicine electronic medication record tools," commented David U, chief executive officer of ISMP Canada. "We see these tools as an excellent way to promote the safe use of medications to even more Canadians and to further advance medication reconciliation across Canada, which addresses a huge gap in medication safety."
The tools are part of the Knowledge is the Best Medicine (KiBM) program, started by Canada's Rx&D in 1994 to help Canadians better manage their health care. The organizations noted that studies show that appropriate use of medicines improves health outcomes and mitigates health care costs, especially hospitalization. The World Health Organization has cited safe medication use as a priority given that an estimated 50% of patients don't take their medications correctly.
"A full understanding of all aspects of medications, including safety issues, is so important to helping patients manage their health. Knowledge is the Best Medicine offers useful information along with convenient and user-friendly monitoring tools," stated Gail Attara, chairwoman of the Best Medicines Coalition.