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MedSafety: Demystifying Child Dosages

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MedSafety Video Sample (lg_thumb)

Mistakes during home administration of medications to children have been reported to be as high as 50 percent. MedSafety is a multi-language iPad-based intervention that aims to teach caregivers with low health literacy to properly administer antibiotics to their children. MedSafety helps parents and caregivers understand the complexity of pediatric weight-based dosing and the confusing formulations of liquid medications, while steering them away from a reliance on non-standard dosing tools such as kitchen teaspoons and tablespoons.

During the current pilot phase, research assistants are administering the intervention at the hospital emergency room to selected families, helping them understand prescriptions and prescription bottles, whose formats have changed little since WWII, other than the addition of child safety caps in the 1970's.

MedSafety features videos, graphics and audio delivered on an iPad interface optimized for simplicity and access. The iPad was selected for its touch interface and size, helpful in the busy halls of the emergency room. The videos from the intervention were shot in one of the nearby clinics at the medical center and feature parents correctly administering dosages to children. The narrated action is accentuated by on-screen graphics. The reports thus far have been good, with many of the caregivers engaging actively with the intervention content.