For payers and pharmacists, designing an effective adherence program to support patients can be challenging, according to AllazoHealth’s William Grambley, COO, and Dr. Linda Schultz, VP, Clinical and Customer Success. Keeping these tips in mind can help.
Design your program around the desired action
What is the one action, or set of actions, that the target of your program needs to take? Are you focusing on script abandonment, getting the patient to do consistent refills, or even a clinical goal?
Every communication should have a call to action, Grambley and Schultz say. Instead of just having a communication that says, “Remember to refill your prescription,” or, “Your prescription is coming due,” offer a direct action that a patient can take right then and there. For example, if a prescription refill reminder text or email is sent, it should have a button that says, “Refill my prescription” that the patient can click immediately.
Make sure your goals are realistic
Understand what your goals are, where you are at present, and where you will need to be to achieve them. “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about medication and adherence within the world of Star ratings,” Grambley says. “But there are other reasons you might want people to be adherent.”
While your goal could be to extend the length of therapy, there’s a big difference in designing a program to ensure a patient is on a medication for a month, compared with being on a medication for the rest of their life. “There are lots of ways to measure adherence, and there are lots of intermediate steps on the way to lifelong adherence behavior,” according to Grambley. “So just have a perspective of what you’re trying to achieve.”
Focus on the type of population
What are the realistic goals within your population demographic? Are you taking into account social determinants of health? Additionally, most adherence programs are targeted at more challenging patients – chronic disease populations, such as heart disease and diabetes. Your patients have many things going on that need to be taken into consideration when developing the intervention messaging and channel. We want patients to be receptive and able to take action based on where they are in their healthcare journey.
Make sure you have a variety of ways, and reasons, to engage your patients
“There is a school of thought,” Schultz says, “that regular interaction – in addition to the message – adds significantly to the effectiveness of outreach. But if you repeat the same message too often, then they just get numb to it and they’ll ignore it.”
Instead, try building reasons to talk with patients at regular intervals in your program. For example, one of the interactions could be about the importance of taking their medicine, while an interaction one month later may be about a 90-day supply program, and still another a month or two later could be about using an automated reminder program through phone or texting. Whatever the program has to offer to support the patient’s adherence can become content that can be worked into messaging.
AllazoHealth uses artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on individual patient adherence. We help payers and pharmacies optimize medication adherence and quality outcomes. Our AI engine targets individual patients with the right intervention and content at the right time.