Midwestern food and drug chain Hy-Vee has rolled out “talking” prescription drug labels from En-Vision America to aid visually and print-impaired patients.
En-Vision’s ScripTalk labels are now available free in 26 languages at more than 275 Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer said. The solution can assist patients with low vision, blindness, dyslexia or other reading disabilities.
An audible prescription reading system, ScripTalk features a label embedded with a microchip containing all the printed prescription label data. The patient places the container onto a portable reader, provided at no cost, and presses a button to listen to the prescription information, including patient name, drug name, dosage, medication instructions and contraindications, as well as pharmacy contact information, doctor’s name, prescription number, date and more. The labels also can be read aloud in the selected language via the free ScripTalk mobile app, which comes in iOS and Android versions.
Hy-Vee said pharmacists program the prescription information onto the chip and place the small electronic tag on the medication package, typically on the bottom of the bottle.
“We are on a mission to make health care services more accessible for our patients,” Kristin Williams, executive vice president and chief health officer at Hy-Vee, said in a statement. “Through our partnership with En-Vision America, we now offer a solution to help improve the health outcomes for our visually and print-impaired patients, along with our non-English speaking patients who often face language barriers to health care.”
Besides English, the ScripTalk prescription labels can be translated to 25 other languages. Patients requesting this option will receive large-print, dual-language prescription labels that feature a high-contrast font in English, as well as a translation from one of the 25 other languages. The labels can be read aloud in the selected language via the ScripTalk reader or mobile app.
According to Palmetto, Fla.-based En-Vision, the Food and Drug Administration estimates that about 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually, and talking prescription labels can help ensure medication safety and adherence for those unable to read their medication labels due to vision impairment.
“Patient safety is paramount. For individuals who have trouble reading their prescription labels, the dangers of mistakes and hospitalizations are real,” according to David Raistrick, president of En-Vision America. “We’re very excited to partner with Hy-Vee, a company that recognizes the need to bolster medication safety and independence for patients with print impairments or who speak English as a second language.”
Overall, Hy-Vee operates more than 280 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.