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New Software to Help Patients

A Software is being developed that will create a calendar-like printout every time a prescription is filled, by Medical College of Georgia physical therapist and associate dean, who wanted to reduce consumer confusion with multiple prescriptions. //

Multiple prescriptions can be confusing: knowing which pill is which, when to take what medication and what pills have special instructions.

'The idea came to me when a relative who was taking multiple medications for asthma came to stay with me,' says Dr. W. Kent Guion, associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Allied Health Sciences. 'She was often confused about which pills she had to take in the morning and which pills she had to take at night. Many of her medications also looked the same and it was easy for her to get one confused with the other.'

Medication errors lead to an increase in doctor's visits and hospitalizations, which drive up health care costs.

With $25,000 in VentureLab funding from the Georgia Research Alliance, Dr. Guion is working with an independent consultant to test and market a program that allows patients to print out a 'calendar-type' listing of their current medications. The goal is to help them remember often-complicated prescription schedules.

'The printout also shows warnings about similar-looking pills to protect patients from taking the wrong medication,' he says.

The computer program interfaces with computer software at major pharmacies.

'The idea is that pharmacists won't have to do any extra work,' Dr. Guion says. 'When the prescription comes in, they can scan it and the calendar printout will automatically generate. It won't require any extra keystrokes.'

He is testing an early version of the program in an independent North Carolina pharmacy.

Dr. Guion hopes the program eventually will serve as the centerpiece for developing a software company to maintain it. That company will adm
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