Battling medication error with an app?
Frank Muno is on a mission to limit medication errors, and both his experience and innovative spirit have led him to a possible solution: PillID.com and its phone app.
Muno is no stranger to medications. He was born into a family of pharmacists — eight to be exact — and has been around prescription drugs since he was 8 years old, working in his father and uncle’s drug store. He also went to school at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and worked in various pharmacy leadership capacities in hospital, pediatric and mental health institute settings. Currently, he works as a night pharmacist at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill.
With his experience and entrepreneurial streak, Muno recognized a patient need to identify loose pills. In 2012, nearly 300,000 people called Poison Control for assistance with a medication error, according to the National Capital Poison Center.
But Poison Control could only look up pills using the alphanumeric information and not the logos that were in the imprint. This got Muno thinking: how could he assist with this need and prevent people from taking the wrong pills? He found that the problem of misidentified drugs was exacerbated by children and young adults having access to home medicine cabinets, which are a lot fuller today than decades ago with the increase of prescriptions.
Muno agreed with the experts that the problem needed to be addressed with knowledge, prevention and support. Since prescription drug products have an imprint as mandated in 1975 FDA regulations for controlled substances, prescription, and over-the-counter, veterinary and homeopathic drug products, why not create a product that could identify that imprint and better help consumers?
Muno enlisted Douglas McKalip, a technical partner and website guru, to help him create and develop PillID.com, a free, user-friendly website and mobile phone app. PillID.com set out to make pill IDs consumer-friendly and help properly identify a pill through all of the information in the imprint – alpha, numeric and logos.
Muno hopes this new innovative app will continue to help seniors, parents, and law enforcement, medical and teaching professionals – virtually everyone who has found a pill separated from its labeled container – to get it identified and either properly disposed of or secured.
About the Author
Jennifer Benson, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs for Advocate Aurora Health’s Provider, APC, and Nursing Communications team. She has 10+ years of community development and communication experience for non-profits in the Fox Valley area in Illinois. Outside of work you can find her planning the next adventure near water or rocks, re-organizing spaces, entertaining a needy cat, defaulting to curry or taco dinners, making healthy happen in all aspects of life, and growing green things wherever she can find room.