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Comfort Control Clock™ is an effective tool to master pain control regimen

08-12-2021 (Akron, Mahoning Valley, Ohio)

After surgery, one of the most effective approaches to pain control is to alternate doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 3 hours. But when you are not feeling well, it’s the middle of the night, or you’re a multi-tasking care provider, it can be easy to forget which medication was last taken and when it was taken.

Now a simple device, the Comfort Control Clock™, is being marketed by Cleveland-based Alternate My Meds LLC to hospitals and doctors’ practices.

Dr. Jeffrey Berlin, a pediatric dentist at Akron Children’s, had the idea for the product and has worked with the hospital’s Innovation Center for several years, bringing it to market with Alternate My Meds.

The patent-pending Comfort Control Clock™ features a standard clock face with a set of hands printed with the medicine names that rotate as a unit. At quick glance, you can then see, for example, that if it’s 3 pm, it’s time to take “ibuprofen,” or if it’s 6 pm, it’s time for “acetaminophen.” If you or your child sleeps through or misses a dose, the hands can be easily adjusted.

“Research, time and time again, has shown the alternating use of these two over-the-counter pain medicines to be safe and effective – so much so that many doctors and surgeons are using it in place of narcotic prescriptions,” said Dr. Berlin. “Each of these two medicines has its own pain control properties and, alternating doses every 3 hours allows you to overlap their individual effectiveness and stay a step ahead of the pain.”

Dr. Berlin’s idea led to a prototype of the clock being made and tested by various doctors and nurses around Akron Children’s, including discharge nurses who said the tool made it much easier to convey the “take home” instructions after surgery.

“It really caught on like wildfire here and we began to think of this as a product we could market, especially as a way to improve patient education,” said Dr. Berlin. “Sometimes, having a tangible tool to hold and see can make all the difference in patient communications.”

The clocks cost around $1 depending on the quantity purchased. The front can be custom printed with a doctor’s or hospital’s name and logo, and the back allows the care provider to write in the patient’s name and medicine dosing.

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