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- What Is a Medication Schedule?
- Who Needs a Medication Schedule?
- Why Would You Use a Medication Schedule?
- Medication Schedule Template Contents
- How to Use the Templates
- What to Do with the Medication Schedules
- Simplify Medication Administration
Forgotten pills aren’t the only problem when it comes to medication administration. Some patients simply don’t remember taking their dose. Going about their day, they’ll ask themselves whether or not they had taken it, and simply can’t recall. When this happens, they often take a dose just in case. But this can lead to an unintentional overdose, render the medication ineffective, or increase the chance for negative side effects.
If you or someone else in your life is struggling to take medication as prescribed, a medication schedule template can help you take control of the medication administration.
What Is a Medication Schedule?
A medication schedule helps people track their medications. On this printable medication record there are spots to document:
- Patient name
- Day of the week
- Drug name
- Dosage of medicine
- Time medicine was taken
This document can help you manage medication for yourself or anyone in your care.
Who Needs a Medication Schedule?
Caregivers, nurses, and healthcare providers regularly use medication schedules. Anyone who deals with medication management will find this template can help them create accurate records.
Medical doctors and nurses must track the medication they administer to their patients. This template can easily be customized for individual patients.
Medical professionals also record when each dose was given. This is especially important for homes with more than one caregiver. There needs to be clear documentation, so no medication gets missed or accidentally administered twice.
Many family caregivers also keep track of the pills and vitamins their loved ones take. This medication schedule can help them prevent errors in medication administration.
Finally, some patients use medication schedules to track their own meds. For people who are on multiple medications, a medication record can help keep everything organized.
Why Would You Use a Medication Schedule?
When you’re doing medication management, you need to know the names and dosages of each of the drugs the patient is on. If there’s only one medication involved, you might not receive as much benefit from a medication schedule template. But, if there are multiple medications with complicated administration instructions, the only way to remember them all is to have a record.
Medication schedules also help alleviate caregiver stress. Instead of having to remember all of the information, you can simply look at the form and know what medications are being administered, and when the last dose was taken.
You can bring along the medication schedule to doctor appointments to accurately answer questions about current medications. This is also a great place to write down answers to questions about new medications the doctor prescribes, and accurately record the administration schedule. You can also refer to your chart when speaking to a pharmacist or healthcare provider, so any new medications can be checked for possible interactions.
Many older people begin using a medication schedule template when they notice problems with short-term memory loss. Having a record serves as a reminder, helping them take accurate doses of each medication. This can prevent accidental overdose.
Medication Schedule Template Contents
When you download this Excel file, you will receive three different medication schedule templates:
- Breakfast Lunch Dinner Food
- 30 Minute Daily Schedule
- 15 Minute Daily Schedule
Each form is designed to print on a standard US Letter size piece of paper. All three are in landscape mode to give you plenty of space for each record.
No matter what template you use, you can either customize it or print it out as-is.
If you decide to customize the medication schedule templates, you can:
- Type in the patient’s name.
- Add the date.
- List the medications and dosage so you don’t need to write it in by hand.
How to Use the Templates
Though each template contains the same information, their use varies slightly. Here are directions for using each of the three templates, so you can decide which one will work best for your needs.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Food
Do you need to track medications that are taken at mealtimes? This template allows you to track up to fifteen medications over four different times of the day:
Under each of those four times, you will see three columns. These are labeled with a single letter. The key down at the bottom tells us:
- B is for before.
- W is for with.
- A is for after.
You can jot down the time when that medication was taken in the corresponding column. For instance, if one medication was taken before breakfast, you can write down the time taken in the B column under the Breakfast section.
This template also has a column for notes. This is the perfect place to write down caregiving observations or notes about the patient.
30 Minute Daily Schedule
This template helps you track medication taken at different times of the day and night. There are 48 different time columns, each representing a ½ hour portion of time.
After each pill is taken, you can find the corresponding time in that medication’s row. Then, mark an X or a checkmark.
Now you can see at a glance when each pill was taken. To make it even simpler to use, consider highlighting the boxes that should be checked off each day. Then, you can quickly see if any checks are missing from the highlighted cells. If they are, you know a medication might have been missed.
15 Minute Daily Schedule
Some medications require precise timing. For instance, if you are taking two different medications that must be taken at least two hours apart, you need very clear records about when you took the first one. Then you can ensure enough time has passed before taking the next prescription.
This medication schedule has been broken into 15-minute time periods. It prints over two pages, one for daytime meds, and one for those taken at night. The headers are of slightly different colors to help you visually distinguish the two.
You can use this template in the same manner as the 30 Minute Daily Schedule. Simply mark an X or a checkmark in the box where the medication name and time administered intersect.
What to Do with the Medication Schedules
Since you will be using one medication schedule a day, they can add up quickly. You need a plan for keeping them in order.
Your relationship with the patient will help determine how long you need to keep these records.
If you are working together in an official or professional way, you will need to check local laws.
If you are using them for personal use, talk to your doctor to find out how long you should keep these records.
Here are three different options to consider for dealing with the papers:
- Print out a week’s worth of the templates at a time and staple them together. Then store the completed ones in a file cabinet, or
- Print several copies of the templates and place them in a binder for convenience, or
- Only print out one at a time on the day you need it. Then once you record all the medication information, store it in a labeled folder.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about medication schedule templates.
How Do You Remind Someone to Take Medicine?
Trying to remind someone to take their medication can be a challenge. You will want to find a strategy that works for this particular person. There isn’t one “right” way to help someone remember. Here are four strategies you can try.
1. Medication Schedule Template
This medication schedule template could help your patient. You can print it out and place it on the fridge with a magnet. Then, the person who needs to take the medication can see the list of medications each time they are in the kitchen. This can help spark their memory.
2. Use a Pillbox
You can invest in a pillbox and prepare it for them. Then, all they need to do is take the medication from the right section. Seeing the pillbox can also serve as a visual reminder.
3. Create a Routine
Try to create a routine around the taking of medication. Do any pills need to be taken with meals? Or right before bed? When it makes sense, work with the patient to create habits around pill taking time.
Perhaps they’ll always grab this pill when they pour their first cup of coffee in the morning and take that one as they change into their pajamas. Or maybe they will take a pill with lunch and three more while eating dinner.
When you connect two tasks, one serves as a cue. A cue is the trigger that sparks the brain into remembering that it’s supposed to do something else. It’s an essential part of building habits.
4. Use Technology
If the person has a cell phone, you could ask them if they’d like you to set up reminders for them on there. You can create an alarm to go off when medication is due. Updating the alarm’s title to something more practical than the default “Alarm” can also help prompt memory. A simple title, such as “Take meds,” could be a great way to trigger both busy and forgetful people to adhere to their medication schedule.
What Is the Time Frame for Administering Medications?
Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you a time frame for administering medication. Once you understand when each medication needs to be taken, you can prepare the medication schedule template to help you track each one.
Knowing when to take each medication will help you select the best template design. If your meds are taken throughout the day with meals, the Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Food template will be the better fit.
If you need to take medication at specific times, the 30 Minute Daily Schedule or the 15 Minute Daily Schedule would be template to use.
What Should You Do If You Miss a Dose?
Medications are meant to be taken on schedule. Sometimes, though, missing a dose happens. When it does, it’s best to call your doctor. When you use a medication schedule template, you will have the information to inform the doctor about when your last dose was taken.
A medical professional can tell you if you should go ahead and take the missed dose or wait until your next dose. They will also instruct you about any adjustments to the schedule you need to make.
Simplify Medication Administration
Take the guesswork out of medication administration by using these medication schedule templates. Instead of having to remember which pills get taken in the morning and which ones at night, write it all down on the template. You will simplify the process and help ensure medication is taken correctly and regularly.
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