Like doctor and nurse communication, medication communication can often be a daunting and intimidating aspect of treatment for patients. In many cases, their lack of pharmaceutical knowledge may act as a deterrent to better understand the medications they are taking. This could lead to poor treatment adherence and unwillingness to take their prescribed medications. By better communicating the reasons for medications and possible side effects, the project will attempt to increase the likelihood of medication adherence. This feature is aimed to address two HCAHPS questions:
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?
While doctors and nurses may explain the possible side effects and reason for medications, they may not do so in a manner that is understood by patients. To address this issue there will be a medication education component built into the game that provides very basic explanation of medications and side effects. This will include a glossary of common pharmaceutical terms and layman explanations. It will also include links to outside resources such as online drug databases and resources for patients to further learn about expected side effects.
This component will once again encourage patients to talk to their healthcare providers if they have concerns regarding their medications, or are worried about potential side effects. It will also include a feature that allows for patients to contact a pharmacist directly if they would like further explanation.