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In 2004, Deborah Adler was a grad student in design looking for a thesis project. While staying with her grandparents she noticed her grandmother accidentally take her grandfather’s prescription. Thankfully, it didn’t turn into a tragedy, but it did inspire a project for Adler. She created a prototype of a module labeling system that went on every pill bottle so that when lined up together, the bottles produced a chart of an overall pill regiment. She took her idea to CVS. “I felt they had the commitment and the will to see about such a large change,” says Adler.

CVS’ New ScriptPath Program Makes Understanding Prescriptions Easier

Today, these labels are part of a larger system that understands what medicines should be taken together, and is able to scan thousands of different variations of prescription—”1x every day,” “once a day,” 1x every 24 hrs”—and then slot them into four basic dayparts: Morning, Midday, Evening, and Bedtime.

I love this story because it shows how a personal relationship with the medical system can point out larger issues, and how anyone can make a difference if properly inspired.

Here are some interesting numbers I’ve learned. More than 9 million CVS Pharmacy patients take more than 5 prescriptions every day. Serious medication mistakes are on the rise. Every 2 minutes, someone calls a U.S. poison control center about a medication error- taking the wrong dose, taking medication twice or accidentally taking another person’s prescription. CVS’ new ScriptPath program is hoping to change all of this. The system then verifies that there are no dangerous drug interactions and that every drug is taken at its optimal time. The ScriptPath system and new pill bottle labels are the first of its kind.

The program is now available throughout the state of Oklahoma.

Deborah Adler had a great idea when she was still just a grad student. She had no real reason to believe her idea could change people’s lives, but it did. Most of us don’t follow through on our ideas like she did. Imagine what could happen if you did?