Daniel Morrow and colleagues have developed a computer-based tool to help older adults and health care providers collaborate in order to improve older adults’ ability to take medications safely and appropriately. Older adults with chronic illness often have trouble taking the many medications that they are prescribed. Problems such as taking medications in the wrong combination or at the wrong times are common and costly, and often associated with inadequate knowledge about medications, especially among chronically ill older adults with limited health literacy. Inadequate knowledge can be traced in part to limited communication with providers, because of barriers such as limited patient contact time and communication training, and lack of support for consistent use of effective communication strategies. This project tested whether the Medtable, a tool integrated with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, helps older adults work with nurses in order to improve their understanding of how to take their medications and to develop concrete plans for doing so. Participants in the study were older adults with diabetes and coping with complex medication regimens. Participants who worked with nurses using the Medtable were compared to those who received usual care in a randomized trial at general internal medicine clinics in Chicago and Peoria.
Prof. Morrow’s work is supported by the National Institutes of Health.
To learn more about this and other projects, visit Prof. Morrow’s lab website: https://sites.google.com/site/danmorrowhf/home