When patients have multiple prescriptions, especially for long term conditions, refill dates often are not aligned and create barriers to adherence. So, pharmacies have been integrating medication synchronization programs into their workflow. Medication synchronization enables patients to fill all their prescriptions at once, typically on a monthly basis.
Can medication synchronization improve adherence? In a study of 82 independent pharmacies, the National Community Pharmacists Association found that patients in medication synchronization programs were 21% less likely to discontinue their drug therapy.
A 2016 study published in Health Affairs found that patients who were able to collect all their prescriptions in a single trip to the pharmacy are up to 13% more likely to be more adherent. The study, a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and Humana, also found that patients relatively adherent to their regimens were 3% to 5% more likely to more closely follow instructions when given the option to synchronize their medications.
How How med synch data uncovers adherence barriers
Pharmacists interviewed by PatientEngagementHIT.com said medication synchronization not only aligned medicines, but revealed barriers to adherence. According to these pharmacists, the data yielded by the med synch systems helped flag the patients who needed more outreach. Patients were flagged because they had complex medication regimens or because they had a history of medication non-adherence.
By performing additional outreach to flagged patients, the pharmacists often solved non-adherence issues. For example, a pharmacist reviewed the medications of a patient who had trouble affording his prescriptions and found over $900 in savings in his per-month outlay.
AI helps find the right patients for med synch programs
Med synch programs can be labor-intensive for pharmacists, as they need to identify the patients who would benefit from the program and then perform outreach. AI can be used by pharmacies to analyze patient data and predict which patients would be the most receptive to program outreach. For example, factors such as the number of medications a patient must take, involvement of multiple prescribing physicians, whether a spouse or caretaker resides in the home, and travel distance to a drugstore can all be considered simultaneously when determining the need for and frequency of follow-up consultations.
AllazoHealth uses artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on individual patient adherence. We work with pharmacies to optimize your adherence programs and intervention workflows, increasing reimbursement from pay-for-performance contracts such as DIR.
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