After thousands of patients and over 20 years of collecting data, I consistently find that 2% of the patients I see don’t need any medication change. I hope you are in this esteemed 2%. It means your medication regimen is safe, effective, dosed correctly, and working just as expected for you. You have no unmet health needs. You are doing the things you want to do in your life with no limitations posed by medicine.
A full 2% understand their medications and take them correctly.
How do you know if you’re part of the other 98%?
A medication use specialist reviewing your health plan might uncover any of these things:
- Your medication is causing a side effect that is impacting your day
- There is another medication that could have the same benefit without the disruptive side effect
- Your dose is too low to completely do what it is intended to do
- Your dose is too high for what you need
- Your kidneys or liver have changed, so your dose needs to change
- A medication for one purpose is making another medical condition worse
- You have a problem that could be treated and no treatment has been started
- You are not taking the medication that has been prescribed and have not told your healthcare team (doctor)
- The medication is so expensive you are having to make decisions about what to purchase each month
- Your medication is not covered by your insurance; another safe and effective option is covered
- You take your medicine at a time of day that will limit its effect
- You take your medicine with other medicine or food that will change its effect
- Your medication is making your dizzy or otherwise increasing your chance for falls
- Your memory is changing because of your medication
- The time of day you take your medication is limiting its effectiveness
- You don’t remember which medication is for which indication
- You have your medications confused
- You pick and choose each day which medication to take (when maybe it only works if taken regularly)
- You are taking a medicine that you no longer need
- Medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter items, and other things you take aren’t known by your healthcare team, are causing issues or are making you better such that you no longer need some of your prescriptions
What if you’re part of the 98%?
That’s why I do what I do!
The key elements of a Meds MASH health review:
- Talk about your health goals and hopes
- Review your health records
- Review all of your medications exactly as you use them
- Assess all of your supplements, herbals, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and the things you take just once in awhile
- Evaluate your falls risk (helpful even if you are an athlete)
- Evaluate your heart disease risk
- Evaluate your memory
- Assess your depression, anxiety, stress levels
- Prepare you to get the most out of all healthcare visits with your doctor, therapist, or other providers
- With your permission, share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
- If you prefer, coach you to share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
- Help your doctor with prioritizing items and medication titration (very gradually, carefully monitoring changes)
Contacting Meds MASH
A full 98% of people have room for improvement or education with their medications. Nearly ¾ need an actual medication or dose change. Even after I have worked with people for years, about ½ of the time, there is more work to be done. I never make changes all at once. Your health is too important. Any changes, agreed to by you and your doctor, are made one at a time while we carefully monitor your response.
This health blog was about the fact that most people have some room for improvement in their medication use.
Isn’t the same true in our life? I know I have a lot of room for improvement!
The sermon at my church today was about patience. I will readily admit that is not my strong suit. God has taught me a lot on this subject throughout my life so far. Like most of you, events have happened that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. All of my plans were out the window. The future was completely unclear. These are the times when we choose to shut down, take over our own planning, or give it all to God’s plan.
Solomon was the king blessed with great wisdom. He was well aware of the value of waiting on God’s plan.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 19:21 ESV
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
As hard as we try to control these things ourselves, we can’t create, accumulate, or lead to the magnificent degree possible through Christ.
You are loved! God wants to guide you through your life according to HIS plan.
Throughout the Bible we have examples of God’s plan going beyond what we can even fathom. Even in terrible times, when people find themselves in dire situations, God has repeatedly demonstrated how He can turn things around.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Jesus addressed our tendency to stress out, worry, and try to assume control.
Matthew 6:25-34 ESV
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
How can you improve your life by turning it over more fully to God? He loves you! He has great plans for you! How can you be 100% committed to God and his plan in your life?