LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - More than 25,000 people died every year because they don't take their prescribed medications as directed.
Memorial Health Systems if East Texas developed a program that is aimed at reducing that problem and the number of avoidable hospital readmissions
Patricia Jones, Memorial's director of community-based care, said the hospital found that many people being admitted to the hospital couldn't give an accurate and complete medication list, and that's a problem.
"Even with intervention, the most frequent reason that people come back to the hospital is a highly technical term: it's called 'meds messed up,'" Jones said.
As a result, the hospitals in Lufkin and Nacogdoches plus Memorial in Livingston joined together to share data and developed the East Texas Healthcare Coalition.
"We have already reduced potentially avoidable readmission in Lufkin ZIP codes for 17.9 percent, and the goal for the first two years of the project was 20. Nacogdoches has reduced by 34 percent in nine months, the largest rate of decrease in the State of Texas," Jones said.
Jones said 50 percent of the U.S. population is prescribed medications, and only 50 percent of those people are taking them as directed and that's where MedL comes in.
It's medication list program available at Memorial Health Systems where patients can log all the prescribed and over-the-counter medications they're taking.
"As much as the hospital is here to serve the community, we're wise enough to know that nobody really wants to go to the hospital, except maybe to have a baby, and we want people to have people stay at home for as long as possible, and taking their medications correctly is the best way to help them do that," Jones said.
The MedL program has been going on for three months, and because of its success, the Memorial program is being uploaded to the Texas Hospital Association, so other hospitals can use it as a resource.
You can find hard copies of the form in the gift shops at Memorial in Lufkin and Livingston, Memorial clinics in San Augustine and here: http://www.memorialhealth.us/patients/follow-up/my-medication