Within the fifteen criteria for medication safety in the Hospital Accreditation Workbook are several that involve informing, educating, and planning medication management in partnership with patients in ways that meets their particular needs. In practice, this can be challenging and certainly requires more than expedience and efficiency.

Take for instance a 73 year old widower who has intraocular lenses implanted, seemingly a simple day surgery, requiring discharge with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. This stressor, however, added to the inexorable progression of Parkinson’s disease, could rob him of his fragile independence.

Post-anaesthetic confusion, poor vision, and clumsiness mean that he can’t easily remember or implement his instructions, or read the Consumer Medication Information provided. Fear that eye discomfort indicates infection means that drops are continued longer and more frequently than prescribed, if they aren’t forgotten along with his other medicines.

It takes a diligent pharmacist to recognise that dispensing records don’t reflect the prescribed dosages, and invest the effort to find a solution that our widower can understand and implement consistently.

Tears Again® offers a lateral solution to maintain hydration and reduce eye discomfort. Application via a spray from 10cm doesn’t need the same aseptic care or dexterity as drops. Whether for comfort or fear, it can be safely used frequently, and doesn’t matter if they are forgotten (as that indicates comfort). Confidence is revived, and a decluttered mind remembers to use his new dose administration aid. Another nursing home placement avoided, and one relieved patient!

Further Reading:

  1. Poupoulas V. From Compliance to Adherence to Concordance: The Evolution from Paternalistic Medicine to Patient Empowerment. HPS Pharmacies Newsline 2013; 2: 18–19.
  2. Ncube B. Dry Eye Syndrome. Adelaide: HPS Pharmacies; 2013. Accessed 19 July 2012.
  3. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Hospital Accreditation Workbook. Sydney. ACSQHC, 2012.