Let's Talk About Medicines Workshop

Let’s Talk About Medicines is a 60-minute educational program developed by Wisconsin Health Literacy to help participants obtain a better understanding of how to more safely and effectively use medicine, which can lead to better health. 

Misunderstanding dosage instructions can lead to serious health consequences, including adverse drug events (ADEs). ADEs are responsible for 3.6 million office visits per year, 700,000 emergency room visits, and 117,000 hospitalizations. Seniors are at a significantly greater risk of misunderstanding drug labels and misusing medications than other age groups.

With that in mind, Wisconsin Health Literacy, through grants from the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation and Security Health Plan, developed and delivered 136, 60-minute interactive workshops on medication use to adults, especially seniors and English Language Learners throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Over 2,364 participants learned how to safely and effectively use medication, which can lead to better health.

The workshop topics included: 

  • Understanding the main parts of a prescription medicine label
  • How to read and interpret special instructions on the label
  • Types of containers and labels for solid and liquid medicines
  • Dosage instructions and strategies to remember to take your medicine
  • Information about over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and how they may interact with other medicines
  • Basic storage techniques 

Breakdown of grants: 

2013 – grant from Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation 

  • 12 workshops 
  • Over 200 participants

2015 – grant from Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation 

  • 16 workshops 
  • 211 participants

2016 – grant from Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation 

  • 8 workshops 
  • 168 participants

2015 – grant from Security Health Plan 

  • 50 workshops 
  • Over 700 participants

2016 – grant from Security Health Plan

  • 25 workshops 
  • 358 participants

2017 – grant from Security Health Plan

  • 25 workshops 
  • 444 participants

2018 – grant from Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation

  • 25 workshops 
  • 283 participants

During program implementation, WHL was able to gather feedback from participants about medication use, medication labels and barriers to medication. Pre- and post-surveys were collected at each workshop from 2013 – 2017. Based on that feedback, revisions were made and implemented throughout the duration of the project.