How much did you know about the industry before starting your project and how much research did you do?
I knew very little about the healthcare industry, other than the fact that my father, grandfather and uncle were all doctors, and my mom was a nurse. Growing up, I always admired and almost glorified their roles, and wanted to somehow emulate them. My grandmothers medication mix up is what led me to take a deeper dive into why these errors were happening, and what I can do to help prevent them. I started my research in her medicine cabinet. It’s there I discovered little problems that could lead to big consequences. I then looked to see if this was a common problem, and I scoured the internet and healthcare agencies to figure out if I was indeed on to something. I quickly realized my grandma was not alone in her confusion. Nearly 60 percent of Americans don’t take their medication properly. It could be anything from missing a dose, to misunderstanding a warning, to taking the wrong amount of pills. I learned that it is very difficult to capture many of these errors because people often don’t report them. I spent several months trying to prove my case, mostly to myself, and then to my MFA thesis panel. Other equally important areas I had to dive into and learn about were manufacturing the label and bottle, as well as how to make a business case to companies or government agencies that might be interested.
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