Have you ever encounter the situation where you were given either too much or too little medication during a doctor appointment? The worst is when the medication prescribed is insufficient, and if the medication can only be issued under prescription, you would need to travel all the way to the clinic or hospital to make a new appointment so that you can obtain the medication. And if the medication is more than needed, it causes you to pay extra.
After encountering a few times where medication were insufficient for my mom, I created the following trackers (using the same format):
- Masterlist tracker, AND
- Medicine tracker for that doctor’s appointment
1. Masterlist tracker
In this tracker, I list down all my mother’s medications that I need to order from each specialist based on the duration of the appointment. For example, my mom takes 2 multivitamin tablets each day. Hence if the appointment is for 3 months (about 90 days), she would require about 180 tablets. And the list goes on for all her medication.
Below is how I list down the Masterlist for the all the medications that my mom is taking (you may click on the file to enlarge):
I created this list because I find that I had to rush to do stock take for my mom’s medication and calculate how much of medication left so that in the next appointment, the doctor would prescribe enough medication. And if there are a lot of medication left, then I am able to inform the doctor to reduce the medication to save on incurring unnecessary cost.
Important Tip: When ordering medicine, factor in additional days. For example, some months have 31 days which means it is more than 30 days. And also, a doctor can schedule an appointment to be slightly more than the month. For example, if your appointment with doctor is in 10 April, your doctor may schedule the next appointment to be on 15 July- even though it is about 3 months, it is more than 90 days. What I do is that I would always keep additional extra 10 days of medicine requirement because it is better to have slightly more medicine than not enough.
You may notice in the chart above, some medications have extra amount. For example, my mom’s doctor prescribed 1 Fluimucil tablet for my mom per day to dilute her phlegm to be taken in the morning after breakfast. However, the doctor also mentioned if I notice her phlegm had thickened or there are more phlegm, then I can give her additional 1 more tablet in the evening after dinner. Hence, I would factor additional tablets in the monthly required amount.
Having a Masterlist tracker makes it easy for us to know how much of medication is required based on the duration to the next appointment. We need not calculate it each time.
2. Medicine tracker for that doctor’s appointment
About 2 or 3 days before her doctor’s appointment, I would do a stock take of all her remaining medication so that I know how much of medication I need to inform the doctor to replenish. This is to ensure the amount ordered are sufficient till her next appointment.
The reason why my mom have extra medication left is not because I forgot to feed it to her. It is due reasons such as:
a. Doctor mistakenly overprescribed the medicine.
b. When mom is hospitalized, the hospital would provide their own medication
c. For certain medications, the doctor had informed me to give more if mom is unwell. So I need to order more ‘just in case’ it is required. For example my mom was supposed to take Fluimucil (dilute phlegm) once a day. But the dotor mentioned if she has a lot of phlegm especially thick ones, then I need to give another tablet to her.
d. Changes in appointment- sometimes it is brought forward or when my mom is not well, I would take her before her appointment is due to see the doctor. The doctor would then revise the next appointment date based on the new day of the visit- hence medicine volume will change also.
I will have a main list, a Medicine Masterlist tracker where I keep in my planner of all her required medication. Then few days before her apppointment with the doctor, I would take out a fresh medicine tracker where I calculate the medicine stock left so that I know how much of medication I need assuming there is no changes in the prescription and dosage of her medication. I always ensure that I have at least 10 to 14 days of additional medication.
This system which I came up myself has helped me tremendously. I hope that this would be helpful to you also.