A Healthier Wisconsin

Expanding Use of Patient-Centered Prescription Labels

Supporting pharmacies in adopting patient-centered prescription labels statewide

Full Project Name:Adopting a Patient-Centered Prescription Label in WisconsinPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Health Literacy, a div. of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.Primary Academic Partner:Kenneth G. Schellhase, MD, MPH, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$446,063
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

Every day, thousands of Wisconsin residents fail to fully benefit from prescription medications, and many suffer new health problems; all because they misunderstand label directions. A Wisconsin Health Literacy (WHL) poll of over 800 Wisconsin residents showed 1 in 4 has taken a medication wrong because of confusing directions. This is especially problematic for 1.6 million residents with low health literacy, who are more likely to misunderstand medication directions. Incorrect medication use also is associated with a 20% greater risk of hospital readmission. By adopting easier-to-read labels, through a change to the Wisconsin pharmacy system, Wisconsin residents receiving prescription medications will experience fewer medication errors, better medication adherence, and improved satisfaction through the creation of easier-to-understand labels. Project partners seek to take user-friendly prescription labels statewide, expanding use to areas with greatest needs such as lower literacy and less access to health care.

Community partners: UW School of Pharmacy, Epic Systems, United States Pharmacopeia, Hayat Pharmacy, UW Health Pharmacy Services, Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, Wisconsin Network for Research Support, Hometown Pharmacy, Forward Pharmacy, Fitchburg Family Pharmacy, Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, MetaStar

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Documented progress toward target of 15% to 21% of pharmacies using new patient-friendly prescription medication labels, adding one additional pharmacy and documenting three pharmacies in counties with greatest health needs dispensing prescriptions with new labels
  • Recruited nine-member task force to develop models to improve label directions for use
  • Recruited 13-member Academic Advisory Council to ensure project benefits from the latest scientific research in patient-centered medication labels

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
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