Here at NCL we are always looking for new ways to celebrate Heart Month and talk to consumers about their health and well-being. On Tuesday, February 28th, we held a very special event through our national Script Your Future (SYF) campaign that brought together our friends at the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Million Hearts initiative and the U.S. Surgeon General herself, Dr. Regina Benjamin, for an interactive #HeartRx twitter chat that tackled all things heart health and medication adherence!
The fact is that three out of four Americans don’t take their medication as directed and more than one in three medicine-related hospitalizations happen because the patient didn’t follow their medication regimen. Not taking your medicine as directed can do more than just send you to the hospital – almost 125,000 people die every year because they did not take their medicine as directed. To combat this growing trend, NCL launched the SYF campaign to encourage patients and health care practitioners to engage in open, two-way conversations about improving medication adherence and addressing obstacles that may stand in the way.
To bring this critical conversation to the Twitterverse, we created a #HeartRx task force by teaming up with the Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and Dr. Janet Wright from Million Hearts. For a full hour, we took questions from engaged doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and consumers, and provided tools, tips, and strategies for improving adherence and keeping hearts healthy! Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability for Americans and the Surgeon General tweeted about techniques she has used in her own practice—from asking patients questions and listening to answers, to walking patients through dosage instructions, and teaching patients to take their own blood pressure—that she has seen work.
There are many reasons people don’t take their medicine as directed, including forgetfulness, side effects, not sure they need medicine and cost. No matter the reason for not taking the medicine, the result is the same – patients lose protection against future illness and face serious health complications. By getting both health care practitioners and consumers engaged in the issue, we can create better health outcomes for all Americans. Be sure to visit www.scriptyourfuture.org for tools such as medication lists and free text message medication reminders and stay tuned for news of other interactive Twitter chats like this one!