Keeping Track of Medications Using MyMedSchedule.com
If you are like most parents of children with medical issues, you have a medication list for your child that you take to medical appointments. And if your child has complex medical needs, your list may be many, many pages long. With so many medications on the list, it may be difficult to find what you are looking for. It may also be hard for caregivers and nurses to use the list.
There is a free website available that helps families to make simple medication lists, print them out in a variety of formats, create checklists to check off when medications are given, and even program email or text reminders to give medications. The website, MyMedSchedule.com, even interfaces with Google Health accounts, and may interface with your doctor's office or hospital.
Features and Limitations
The best thing about MyMedSchedule.com is that it is completely free to families. You do need to register, but registration is easy and free.
Once you are registered, there is a simple three-step process for creating your medication list:
Step 1: Enter Medication Name, Strength and Form
Step 2: Enter Dosing Schedule and Customize Information; Add Refill Reminders
Step 3: Review Information, Add Reminders, and Print
Step 1: Enter Medication Name, Strength and Form Step 1 is to enter in your medications by typing in the first few letters of each one's name. Medications are listed both under their generic names and brand names. Because MyMedSchedule.com places a picture of the medication on your medication list, it is best to choose the exact formulation you use (generic or name brand) for each medication. For certain medications, you may have a choice of different dose strengths or formulations, such as syrup or tablet.
If a medication is not listed, you may enter it manually, giving as much information as you have available. I found that all but three medications from my daughter's extensive list of daily medications were preprogrammed, and two of these are medications we use in very atypical ways (such as instilling gentamicin into the bladder). The third was nebulized albuterol, which did not appear in the strength we use.
If you use intravenous medications extensively, you will have more work on your hands, as the majority of my daughter's IV medications were not listed. They can still be added manually.
Step 2: Enter Dosing Schedule and Customize Information; Add Refill Reminders After entering all of your child's medications, you move on to Step 2. In this step, you enter in how many times a day you give each medication, what time it is given, and what dose is given at each time. You can also customize the strength and form of the medication, as well as the purpose of the medication.
This section also allows you to add a refill reminder for each medication, which will send you an email you every 30, 60 or 90 days that includes your prescription name, expiration date, and prescription number.
I was overall comfortable with the ease of entering information in Step 2. I was particularly pleased that it allows you to enter different doses of the same medication to be given at different times, as most medication lists force you to relist each dose as a "different" medication.
I did find it impossible to enter in large quantities (such as 60ml) using the standard choices. There also is no PRN option for medications that are just given as needed. But you are able to change the dosing section to Free Text, which allows you to enter in whatever information is necessary, including large doses and PRN instructions.
One other problem I had is that the program only allows you to enter in six specific times per day that medications can be given, such as 7AM, 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, 7PM, and 1AM. This is because they can only fit six discrete times on a page for the printout version of the list. While most of my daughter's medications are given at the above listed times, she receives a few medications at other times, especially her IV infusions and nebulized treatments. You can still include these extra times by selecting the Free Text option and entering the dosing information manually. Free Text items are catalogued at the bottom of the medication list.
Step 3: Review Information, Add Reminders, and Print Step 3 allows you to check your list for errors, print it in various formats, and add email or text message reminders. The default format lists your child's medications on the left, and the times each is administered on the right in columns by time. Items that are not timed or have Free Text for the dosing information are listed at the bottom. The information can be displayed in several other formats, including large type and a wallet card.
It can also be printed by time, with the time on the left and the list of medications given at that time on the right.
A second tab at the top labeled "Checklist" allows you to print out prewritten checklists for your meds, with the meds by time on the left, and the date on the right. Both weekly and monthly checklists are available. Another tab allows you to print out a weekly checklist for vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
A final tab label "Instructions" includes prescription instructions and warnings. These are prewritten for each medication, but can be edited. For example, I added "dissolved in a syringe with 3ml water" to the instructions for several of my daughter's meds in tablet form, which must be dissolved to go through her J tube.
Once you complete the three steps, you are able to save your child's medication list. It can be reopened and edited at any time in the future. It is also possible to save multiple lists, such as separate lists for each child, or separate lists of daily and as needed medications.
Once completed, you can hit the "Print" button to print your list. You can also hit the "Export" button to send your list to your Google Health account, if you have one.
While not widely available, MyMedSchedule is also available to your doctor and hospital as an add-on to their electronic medical record system. If your doctor has this available, your medication list and other health information can be updated by your doctor and provided to you in a variety of formats.
MyMedSchedule.com is incredibly easy to use and a great asset for families dealing with large numbers of medications. Best of all, it is free to families!
Please Note: Complex Child HAS NOT received any compensation from MyMedSchedule.com. We just think it's great!
Copyright 2010 Complex Child E-Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
The information on these pages is not a substitute for appropriate medical care. Please contact your child's physicians before making any changes in your child's care. Complex Child is for research purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.