April 25, 2023
Pacific College holistic nursing faculty members Mitzie Meyers, PhD, RN, CNE, AHN-BC and Caroline Ortiz, PhD(c), MSN, MPH, RN, NC-BC were recently interviewed for Healthcare IT Today’s article “Rethinking Medication and Information Technology”, the fourth and final part in a series by Andy Oram on problems people have taking their medication. Many patients who have been prescribed medications for chronic condition management don’t take them correctly, or, in some cases, at all. This issue costs hundreds of billions of dollars every year–and hundreds of thousands of lives. Read the first article in the series, “Using Technology to Address Medication Access”, for background context regarding this problem; the second, “Helping People Take Their Meds”; or the third, “What Tends to Go Wrong with Medication Adherence”.
Oram’s final article in the series turns the question on its head: can patients get better without medications? Some patients need help adopting a lifestyle that can reduce their risk, monitoring their progress, and uploading the results of monitoring to their portal. Family, friends, and even community institutions can encourage them to adopt better habits, but Pacific College professor Dr. Mitzie Meyers emphasizes that the patient-practitioner relationship must be collaborative. Do the medications truly need to be prescribed? Some drugs, such as those for depression and anxiety, are notoriously overprescribed. Although some patients blindly request antibiotics, they won’t do anything for a viral infection. The processes of withdrawal or even just weaning-off are best avoided, as they can be agonizing and complex.
Pacific College associate professor Caroline E. Ortiz reminds us that a patient’s reasons for altering or diverting from the medical plan can be many and varied. Many people are members of ethnic cultures that have their own deeply embedded traditional remedies and treatment approaches, and may prefer remedies tied to that culture, or feel more comfortable talking with a community member knowledgeable in traditional remedies than an institutional healthcare provider.
Read the Full Article on Healthcare IT TODAY