Embracing Technology – Can YouTube be the Next Great Education Portal?

Pharmacy and YouTube

Many patients go online to learn about their medications and how to take them. Now some pharmacists are experimenting with online video education to help counsel patients about the drugs people take most often. Specifically, the pharmacists are focusing on the digital video platform YouTube.

Drug Counseling on YouTube

One college of pharmacy has created a YouTube channel dedicated to showing educational videos about the most frequently prescribed medications.

Often, people are too impatient to meet with an actual pharmacist and listen to information about a particular drug. In these cases, they may not fully understand important details about the medication, including its name and description, route of administration, dosage, duration of therapy, particular directions and precautions, adverse effects, proper storage, refill information, and what to do if there is a mixed dose.

But then, patients find that they need more information when it’s time to take the prescription. This is where YouTube counseling comes in.

For this particular YouTube channel, pharmacy students wrote video presentations for 200 different drugs. The pharmacy faculty then reviewed each presentation for accuracy and completeness.

Then, faculty and students began to collect data on the videos and who was watching them. They found the most popular videos were ones that gave information about doxycycline, sildenafil, metronidazole, Voltaren, and ciprofloxacin.

The age group that watched the videos most often was between 25 and 34 years old, while those between the ages of 13 and 17 viewed the videos the least.

Enhancing the YouTube Videos

The faculty and students are also working on upgrades to the videos. They are collaborating with translators to get the videos closed-captioned in several different foreign languages, as well as using foreign-language speakers to narrate the videos so that they will be available to a larger number of people.

Pharmacists are Developing a Coding System

And the pharmacists are developing a coding system for the videos. In this system, each video would be assigned a specific code, which would then be affixed to the prescription bag for each drug at local pharmacies. This way, if a patient is looking for information about the drug and how to take it, he or she can access a YouTube video about the medication by using the code on the bag.

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