Seven of Canada’s leading health care organizations have joined together to launch new electronic tools to help Canadians use their medications safely and appropriately. The tools are the latest innovation in the Knowledge is the Best Medicine (KiBM) program which was created by Canada’s Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) in 1994 to help Canadians better manage their own health care, including a free new iPhone and iPad app developed by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada with input from Canadian patient groups and health care provider organizations.
The new electronic record is aimed at empowering the growing number of smart phone owners who use mobile devices to manage a wide range of personal data, including their medication information.
“As someone who relies on multiple medications on a daily basis, I find that this App is an excellent tool for managing my medications in a safe and smart way,” said Maureen Smith, a patient living with a chronic illness. “It complements the work of my health professionals and is easily adaptable. It puts the power of knowledge in the hands of the patient.”
Studies have shown that responsible and appropriate use of medicines leads to better health outcomes and health care costs like hospitalization are greatly reduced. The World Health Organization has established safe medication use as a priority given that an estimated 50 per cent of patients do not take their medications correctly.
Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada, the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Best Medicines Coalition have joined together to support development of the iPhone and iPad app.
MyMedRec allows patients and caregivers to have their medication and immunization record at their fingertips. It includes features such as refill and dose reminders, storing of medication histories and, multiple patient profiles, email and picture capabilities, as well as contact information of prescribers and pharmacies.
The tool will help patients and caregivers compile a full list of their medications whether prescription, over the counter or natural health products and share the information with their health care team as they see fit. The app is also supported by the Knowledge Is The Best Medicine website which contains health information, relevant links and safe medication use tips, as well as a variety of downloadable medication records for those who don’t have iPhones.
The tools are the next generation of the Knowledge is the Best Medicine program that has been utilized by millions of Canadians for nearly two decades in collaboration with hundreds of health provider organizations, governments, hospitals, health units, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and patient groups.