Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pictograms for medication administration

How do you explain to someone who is illiterate when they need to take medications?  How about if there are 5 medications that they have to take?

I have joined with the pharmacy team from the Children's Hospital in Ottawa (CHEO) to develop and test pictograms to help patients understand how to take their medications.

Take 2 pills twice per day.

Take 5ml twice per day

Take morphine 1/2 tablet twice per day, when having pain 
Take 5ml every 4 hours

Tylenol: take for medium pain or fever


  1. Megan, this is really cool! Both the positive impact this can make, and the set of constraints involved make for a very intriguing project. Information design is an interest of mine, so I'd love it if you'd post further updates here.

  2. Just saw your comment. This is our first attempt at pictograms. We're using an experienced designer, who has been involved with pictograms which have been used for teaching patients how to take meds in Mali. We are going to be testing the pictograms for guessability and recall in the future. Once we get approval from the hospital to do this research.