Brown Bag Review
Managing patients' medications is an ongoing struggle. One way to keep track of their pills is to ask them to bring all their bottles in to an office visit. This has been called the "brown bag review," and is something I do frequently. It is often very helpful. Not only do I get the chance to verify what medications are being taken, but I can also confirm doses and refill status. On occasion, I also find it helpful to count the pills that are left in the bottles and compare them with my records; great way to confirm compliance.
The thing is, virtually everyone uses white plastic grocery bags to bring in their bottles. They're bigger, stronger and infinitely more available. They certainly accomplish the stated aim, but now and then I enjoy teasing my patients by complaining that no one follows directions anymore: how can I do a "brown bag" review when I'm continually presented with bags that are white plastic instead of brown paper?
Well just this morning, a lovely older couple who have been in my practice for many years (and to whom I've previously complained about white plastic bags) gently teased me back: they went out of their way to find an actual brown paper bag in which to bring their medications.
Finally! Someone who listens!