Who Are Veterans?
Veterans Affairs Canada considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran. This Veteran status recognizes the risk Canadian Air Force members assume by wearing the uniform and pledging allegiance. Canada’s modern-day Veterans are carrying on the traditions, values and legacy of wartime Veterans and all Canadians, especially our youth, should be aware of their accomplishments and sacrifices.
In the U.S.A., under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) of the United States.
Providing Health Care for Veterans
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,243 health care facilities, including 172 medical centers and 1,062 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. The administration directly manages and provides care to its Veterans.
While in Canada, health care is publicly available, Veterans Affairs Canada mandate includes helping Veterans access the supports and services they need, from all levels of government and the community at large, and maintain a leadership role in the care and support of all Veterans and their families.
Importance of Medication Adherence for Veterans
Medication adherence is important to our heroes, our veterans. Military veterans deserve special treatment due to the sacrifices they made during wars. They fought for our freedom and kept us safe. Disabled veterans deserve personal attention and the best care, technology enhanced or otherwise that we can possibly give. In addition to the chronic conditions afflicting the general population veterans may have additional trauma affecting their health.
Disability can take many forms however. Traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, chronic depression, hearing loss, breathing disorders, amputations, diseases and other long-term health problems are all on the list. And chronic pain is commonplace. Unfortunately, to achieve and maintain the best quality of life possible and the highest level of functionality and social re-integration, disabled veterans are often prescribed a complex regimen of medications that promise to treat their physical and/or mental conditions.
Medication Adherence and the Disabled Veteran
Medication errors and medication non-adherence is not a new problem. It is well defined and well understood by health care professionals in all sectors. It is a horrendously costly problem both in monetary terms and in quality-of-life terms. Yet the problem persists.
And it’s getting worse as a result of the increasing population of disabled veterans. Additionally, the comorbidity of physical trauma with mental trauma, such as PTSD, is increasingly common. In the case of PTSD, it is widely understood that PTSD often prevents the patient from living a purposeful life and, unfortunately, the effects of PTSD have been proven to worsen over time. Some reports suggest that the number of servicemen and servicewomen that return home with PTSD actually double over time. PTSD most often leads to a sense of being overwhelmed and to a loss of ability to function.
This lack of functionality necessarily brings about the inability to execute Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), including the consumption of medications, and intervention and assistance becomes mandatory.
Enter the RxPense® Hub
RxPense® is a personal medication adherence, dispensing and remote monitoring solution that ensures disabled veterans at home (or elsewhere), take the correct medications on time and notifies caregivers, or pharmacists, psychiatrists, clinicians and physicians, if they miss a dose. It also accurately records and documents the consumption of PRN “as-needed” and OTC medications. It can also capture (though external sensors), monitor and store vitals along with the electronic patient record.
Alerts and notifications include a series of visual, audible and vibration prompts to the patient and email, SMS and Cloud-based recording for physicians, clinicians and caseworkers. This new generation device and online monitoring service features the latest communications and display technologies (android, touch screen tablet, customs apps, multiple interfaces). RxPense® automates the dispensing of weekly multidose blister-packaged medications such as DisPill™, Distrimedic™, Eco-Pill™ and others, though a patented process, and significantly reduces the risk of medication non-adherence.
In addition, the RxPense® Hub features a full set of modern communications technologies specifically targeted for patients, that enable both voice and “videoconference” communication directly from the device. These same technologies will enable “virtual doctors’ visits”, patient interviews and direct observation of the patient. The ability to directly observe a patient, even at a distance, has immeasurable benefits for the physician and clinician, particularly for capturing and understanding facial expressions during an interview.
If you would like to explore RxPense® and how it can help veterans and the VA, please: