Patients are often told to add vitamins to their diets without the
explanation of their benefits or the consequences of not taking them.
patients with osteoporosis
need calcium, magnesium and vitamin K2 to maintain strong bone health in
addition to their prescribed medications.
Without these important supplements, their conditions can decline rapidly,
yet patients often forget to take them. You can’t follow your patients
around, reminding them to take their vitamins at the appropriate times.
What you can do is offer memory aids.
Try some of these methods for your forgetful patients:
1. Use apps.
Suggest a series of apps that will remind patients of the right time to
take their vitamins and help them
keep track of the vitamins
they’ve already taken. Most people have their phones with them 24/7, so a
helpful reminder app can make all the difference.
Some of the top reviewed apps include:
Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder
You might try a few of these apps before recommending them. Patients are
more likely to use something if they hear a testimonial first.
2. Send SMS messages.
Many modern health care organizations use SMS messaging to send appointment
reminders to patients. The same service can be
used to remind patients
to take their vitamins. You could send a message a couple times per week—or
even daily—to help solve any deficiencies.
SMS messages cost money, so you don’t want to do this forever.
Additionally, patients shouldn’t become totally reliant on your guidance.
If you send these messages for a couple of weeks when they’re first
prescribed, you can help them form a beneficial habit.
3. Provide pill containers.
It might seem like an outdated method, but pill sorters with a compartment
for each day of the week are highly convenient. These can be filled with
any prescription medications and supplements patients are prescribed. Most
people store them next to their toothbrushes, so it’s easy to remember to
take them in the morning or at night.
These pill boxes are very affordable, costing less than a dollar when
purchased in bulk, but most patients won’t go out and buy them. If you
provide them at the same time that you prescribe vitamins or medications,
they’re more likely to use them.
4. Tell a family member.
Some patients may have memory problems, especially as they age. The elderly
tend to need more vitamins than the younger generation, but they often have
problems remembering to take them.
In this case, it’s often prudent to inform a close family member of their
need to take medication. This individual can help your patient remember
daily. Just be sure that it falls in line
with HIPAA compliance
before speaking to anyone.
5. Create a reminder sheet.
Compose a list to help patients remember and form habits. Reminders might
Set an alarm on your phone.
Pack them daily with your lunch.
Take them with a specific meal, such as breakfast.
Use sticky notes on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself.
Download one of the apps listed above.
Before offering the list, stress the need for forming good habits and
taking care of their health. Often, helping patients remember to take
supplements is as simple as explaining their importance.