Most parents will tell you that getting a young child to take medicine is a difficult task. As your community’s pharmacy, any assistance you can provide with adherence among children will have benefits for both your business and your patients. Part of making your community happier and healthier is making sure your customers’ children are taking their medicine and adhering to it exactly as prescribed by their pediatricians. The problem of getting children to follow a treatment regimen is widespread and is certainly frustrating for the physicians you work with, but you can aid tremendously by following these three tips. Start increase medication adherence now:
1. Use Flavored Liquids
In many cases, liquid medicine is the easiest way to ensure adherence. While that may be a given, there is more you can do to make the medicine go down easier. Use sweeteners with bubblegum or chocolate flavoring to mask bitter medications and to improve a child’s willingness to take it. While it may not be as good as real candy, it’ll certainly taste better than unflavored medicine and parents will thank you.
2. Offer Fun Dispensers
There are several different types of kid-friendly dispensers you can keep in stock that will help parents administer the entire dosage of a medication on the first try. Whether it’s a ladybug or an elephant’s trunk, a fun dispenser has the ability toturn a stressful experience into a pleasant one.
3. Communicate with Parents
When it comes to young patients, medication adherence is usually dependent on the parents, but juggling multiple responsibilities in the home can often create barriers. In addition to issues with forgetfulness and time management, some reasons why children do not take their medications include a parent’s misunderstanding of the diagnosis, concerns about the drug’s effectiveness and fear of a medication’s side effects. As a community health expert, you can help increase adherence and ease concerns by talking with parents at the time of prescription pick up. You may also want to distribute informational pamphlets or develop a check-in program. Pharmacy staff can be trained to call and check in with parents, asking how the prescribed schedule is going and gently reminding them to stay on track.
On average, parents forget one half of the information presented to them during a 15-minute meeting with a physician. Most of the information retained is associated with the diagnosis and not the drug being prescribed, which means that your pharmacy is the final opportunity to make sure a child adheres to their medication Don’t miss the chance to cement your position as your community’s top health expert- make sure flavored liquids and fun dispensers are available in your pharmacy, and make sure you discuss the importance of adherence with your patients.
Taking steps to become the most recognized family pharmacy in your community has countless benefits and increasing adherence among children is just one of many methods you can follow. To learn more about how to make your pharmacy the clear choice for family pharmacy needs, download our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market now!
What are your best practices for increasing medication adherence among children? Let us know in the comments!