Seeing a Difference: A Visual Aid Tool for Topical Medication Selection
Resident PGY 4
Henry Ford Hospital
Topical medications are the mainstay of many common dermatologic conditions. There are many factors that contribute to patient adherence to topical regimens with medication vehicle playing a role in usage. Due to lack of familiarity with topical vehicle nomenclature, patients often have difficulty selecting the appropriate vehicle when discussing their therapy plan, leading to unsatisfactory results and potentially medication discontinuation. To assist the patient in topical medication vehicle selection, we created a visual aid that was conveniently placed in examination rooms to assist in the selection of both new and refilled medications. Following medication selection, a three-question survey was provided to patients seen at one dermatology clinic assessing patient perception of the visual aid. Over a three-month period, 50 patients were surveyed and the results were examined via chi-square analysis. Most medications prescribed were new (80%), with refill (8%), and new plus refilled medications (12%) making up the minority. A clear majority of those surveyed (98%) found the visual aid helpful in selection of their medication. Additionally, 80% of patients responded that they would be more likely to use their topical medication after selection with assistance of the visual aid. These results demonstrate that the visual aid is a statistically effective tool assisting in medication selection as well as having the potential to improve patient adherence to topical medications (p< 0.001). Anecdotally the authors also thought it expedited the medication selection process. Although additional studies are likely needed, this data supports that use of a visual aid in selection of topical medications.
Oberlin, David M.; Veenstra, Jesse; Zarbo, Allison; and Kerr, Holly, "Seeing a Difference: A Visual Aid Tool for Topical Medication Selection" (2019). Quality Improvement. 1.