I would like to simplify matters since patients and medical workers need to find solace and understanding while interacting with each other. I think that it may be time to assign numbers to medications so that if a patient says "phone in my cholesterol meds." and you respond "what is the name of the medication?" and they say "it's in my chart."; so you look and find that they have switched from one name to another(cost or reactions to medications are a factor). Meanwhile, you still have other work to do and they ask you to wait so they can find their medication bottle. The good news is that they've located the bottle; now if only that long medication word was easier to pronounce...
If medications were assigned numbers a patient could read off the numbers and the medical worker can then look up the medication by numeric assignment and say "oh you mean such and such medication." Numeric assignment of medications are easier to locate especially when using EMR systems. A computerized glossary can also be generated and used in conjunction to search medications patients may be looking for. This numeric assignment of medications is by no means a way to replace or cease the use of drug or medication names, it just makes locating the name of a medication easier to find and easier for the patients to access.
How does this work?
The numeric medication assignments are of course universal and stay the same regardless of pharmacy, retail or mail order. Generic medications and brand medications have their own individual numbers the generic medications begin with a (G) followed by a set of numbers eg. 10000, brand medications begin with a (B) followed by a set of numbers eg. 80000. Medication numbers are also classified by the(indication or drug classification) symptom,disease,condition or illness they are used for. An example of this would be: Antibiotics, G11000-Amoxicillin or B81000-Amoxil. Another example would be: Hyperlipidemia, G14000-Simvastatin or B84000-Zocor. Once you have a number associated with the name of a medication brand or generic it makes it easier for patients to comprehend and for the medical worker to locate and then clarify with the patient the acutal name of the medication, and dosage ect.; this is important especially if you are doing many things and cannot locate that patient's chart when they call you. To have an immediate number reference handy is valuable so that you can locate and know what medication the patient is referring to so you can check with the physician and enter the information into the patients chart once you are able to do so.
When a patient gives you that sugar cane attitude about their meds, Numeric medication assigning-The citizen band way of talking to the patients and the only entertainment you'll ever need! Now we just have to track down Rosebud to get this thing going!