Studies show that many patients do not use inhalers correctly.
In fact, estimates say that each patient makes a mistake between 70% and 90% of the time they use their inhalers. Consequently, only 7% to 40% of drugs are delivered to the lungs.
This means that their treatment is not as effective as it could be, and could result in more hospital visits that could be prevented by proper use.
This is why we have created a series of videos instructing patients on how to use inhalers correctly. Here we’ll look at the common mistakes and use videos to demonstrate how to use inhalers correctly.
The 6 most common inhaler mistakes
To create effective videos that will help patients use inhalers correctly, we had to identify the main mistakes inhaler users make. Here is a quick summary:
- Not shaking it – You need to shake your inhaler to mix the propellant and medicine
- Odd angles – Hold your inhaler upright so the medicine goes down the airway and doesn’t stick to the tongue or mouth
- No coordination – Patients should inhale slowly before activating the inhaler. Some people wait too long or activate it before breathing
- Breathing in too quickly – You should breathe in slowly and deeply as you use your inhaler
- Holding your breath – Many patients exhale too quickly; wait between five and 10 seconds to let the medication settle
- Spacing – Wait between 15 and 30 seconds before taking the next puff
About our inhaler series:
There are several different types of inhaler, so it can be hard to ensure that patients are using them correctly.
To help with this, we have created a series of videos on how to use the main types of inhaler. Here’s a list of the videos we made:
- Accuhaler inhaler
- Autohaler inhaler
- Breezhaler inhaler
- Easi-Breathe inhaler
- Easyhaler inhaler
- Ellipta inhaler
- Forspiro inhaler
- Genuair inhaler
- Handihaler inhaler
- Metered dose inhaler
- Metered dose inhaler with a small volume spacer device
- Metered dose inhaler with large volume spacer device
- Novolizer inhaler
- Respimat inhaler
- Spiromax inhaler
- Turbohaler inhaler
We have put these videos in our primary care library so that GPs with access can share these videos with their patients either during consultation or to be viewed at a later date.
They are also used by PrescQipp, an NHS funded organisations that supports optimised prescribing for patients. They also produce tools for primary care commissioners and have a platform where you can share innovation across the NHS.
PrescQipp use these videos to educate their audiences about inhaler usage, as well as several CCGs across the country.
Why use videos to teach patients how to use inhalers correctly?
Video is engaging and memorable, so it’s the perfect tool to help patients use inhalers correctly.
Using video standardises the information given to patients, and they can return to them later if they’re not sure about their technique. Here’s an example:
Videos are easily shareable, so you will be able to ensure that they reach your patients. For example, you can:
- Place videos on practice websites
- Share it on social media channels
- Add to appointment letters
- Give patients the link as a part of their prescription
Using videos like this is a simple way to reduce appointment time and ensure patients are well informed. This will relieve strain on the NHS and increase capacity so GPs can help more patients.
Start directing your patients to these videos by setting up your own Health & Care Videos library today.