Hijacking isn’t a term used lightly (especially when attempting to capture some thoughts of healthcare’s antiquities whilst flying internationally), yet as patients – our prescriptions are hijacked daily.
Every time I have my prescriptions sent to a pharmacy, that ultimately captures and stores my repeat prescriptions and my medical and financial records associated with my medicines, I frustratingly wish there was another way. I wish I wasn’t so reliant on one pharmacy. I wish I had the opportunity to shop around for price, value and convenience. I wish that I could order my prescriptions online and have them delivered. I wish that I would have greater freedom of choice of portability when it comes to my medication management. And finally, I wish that doing the right thing with my medicine wasn’t so damn hard.
As a physician, I also found the issue of prescription management incredibly frustrating. Scavenging through patients handbags full of non-descript pills trying to determine what medicines and what dosages they were taking (as well as playing guessing games of charades – “the pill is green and begins with an S”), calling around pharmacies and surgeries to reconcile medicine lists, recalling and working out which of the Walgreens on Main street was the one the patient wanted (thank you Google Maps), and fearing that I was prescribing patients a medicine that would cause them to be hospitalised due to an interaction – are reminders that our system could do with a better way.
We at ScalaMed have realized that most of the systems and approaches in healthcare were not created with the needs of its users first. Healthcare, based on its origins, was created to maximise billing and help support clinicians and hospitals manage their patients, rather than to make it easy. So we at ScalaMed are partnering with the patient, the clinic and the prescribers to create a new and less frustrating approach to medicines.
We believe that the place for prescriptions to reside are with patients, with impeccable clinical records. When we re-route prescriptions to give patients their prescriptions and their data, we empower them. We can also educate, remind, warn and activate them, and we can enable them to become the consumers they need and want to be when it comes to medication management. We can free up the wasted hours of clinics in managing patients medications for them.
When we rethink the prescription workflow, we create an approach where we no longer need to wistfully wish, and an innovative approach, free of the fear of hijacking.