Proper medication adherence, or the extent to which patients take medication as prescribed, is essential for achieving optimal health outcomes and ensuring patients managing complex conditions receive the most effective care possible. Although this fact is undisputed in the medical community, non-adherence remains a longstanding, ever-present issue in healthcare.
Wondering what steps can be taken to improve adherence? This article highlights the importance of medication adherence, the impact it has on patient outcomes, and how to boost it with access to the right digital tools.
How Medication Adherence Impacts Patient Outcomes
When it comes to treating complex, chronic conditions like cancer, hepatitis, and multiple sclerosis, proper medication adherence is extremely important. In fact, in many cases it’s literally the difference between life and death for those who are battling a serious illness.
However, despite the importance of adherence, studies show that nearly 50 percent of patients fail to take their medications as prescribed. As a result, nonadherence causes an estimated 125,000 preventable deaths per year and is consistently linked to increased hospitalization across disease states, disease progression, and preventable complications.
On the other hand, patients who have calls with their pharmacists or pharmacy have increased adherence rates of up to 36%— which maximized the opportunity for good treatment outcomes.
Using Digital Tools to Boost Medication Adherence
Avella and BriovaRx offer the following resources to support specialty pharmacy patients and improve adherence to life-saving medications:
Calls with a pharmacist have proven to increase medication adherence by up to 38 percent—but this approach only works if said pharmacist can actually get patients on the phone, which is sometimes easier said than done.
The new digital calling card option works by adding Avella and/or BriovaRx to patient contacts to make it easier to reach them and accelerate medication turnaround times. This method is more effective because patients are much more likely to answer the phone when they recognize that it’s the pharmacy calling about a prescription as opposed to a random number.
Avella also offers a free, interactive text messaging program, which helps patients stay on track by sending medication dosing and refill reminders. Patients can also set up optional caregiver alerts and weekly progress reports to encourage adherence. Our own case study revealed that text messaging adherence programs have a significant impact on refill rates, resulting in a 29 percent increase in adherence for patients in the low compliance cohort.
Smart, wireless pill bottles are also available for patients on certain therapies and are known to drastically improve medication adherence. Bottle settings can be adjusted and personalized based on each patient’s unique preferences. For example, colored lights, chimes, and automatic text messages and phone calls are all different alert options available to remind patients to take and refill their medication.
Improve Medication Adherence with the Right Digital Tools
Access to the right digital tools, like text message reminders and a digital calling card, can significantly improve medication adherence and have a positive impact on patient outcomes. Learn more about the different medication adherence tools that Avella and BriovaRx offer to support specialty pharmacy patients treating chronic conditions.