Saturday, July 23, 2005

Such A Little Thing

A British doc has come up with the ingenious practice of including a short description of each drug's purpose on the prescription labels of his patients' medications. E.g., 'Take one each morning to reduce blood pressure.' (Patients can choose not to have the descriptions included, if they're concerned about confidentiality. Few do, though.)

One of those ideas that seem unbelievably obvious once someone's come up with them. Little, low-tech interventions like this can have a disproportionately significant effect on a patient's experience of illness and treatment; this measure not only helps patients practically to remember how and why they're taking their meds, it also acknowledges their intelligent agency in caring for themselves. Its failure to appear before now is undoubtedly down to the usual scenario of lack of doctor empathy with patients as human beings, instead of pill-ingesting symptombags.

I honestly believe that's changing, though, and here's one more proof of it. Hurrah.

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