Taking each and every pill at the right time, every time is not as easy as it sounds. Most patients treating a disease find it hard to remember to take their medications completely in accord with the care plan. In fact, forgetfulness is one of the top barriers to compliance, especially for complex or chronic conditions.Simply reminding patients to take their medications is a more powerful solution than many people realize, according to a review of the research in medication adherence published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Electronic reminders – the kind that don’t require any direct contact between the prescriber and the patient (which would be cost prohibitive) – are increasingly used by the health care system with the goal of improving medication adherence. Electronic reminder use is particularly prevalent for patients who are on long-term medications. These types of reminders are thought to be more effective than passive medication “reminder packaging.”
The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association article reviewed 13 different studies that utilized various electronic reminders in patients; there were four short message service reminders, seven audiovisual ones from electronic reminder devices, and two based on messages sent to a patient pager. The researchers determined that there were significant benefits in terms of patient adherence through the use of electronic reminders.
With the rapid evolution of technology, it’s not surprising that there is more current technology for electronic medication reminders than carrying around a pager.
At BioPlus, we’re melding the benefits of electronic reminders with the latest in technology. It’s called our Therapy Access Portal, or TAP App.
This useful app is already being used by prescribers to bring the pharmacy into the doctor’s office and later this year a new version of it will be able to be downloaded by patients to their smartphones. This version will include a medication reminder feature. Additional features of the TAP App allow the patient, prescriber, and our specialty pharmacy to be connected with real-time information and treatment monitoring. In short, our goal is to use every tool possible to overcome adherence barriers and bring about the best possible treatment outcomes for all of our patients.
Stephen C Vogt, PharmD
President and CEO
Vervloet M, Linn AJ, van Weert JCM, et al. The effectiveness of interventions using electronic reminders to improve adherence to chronic medication: a systematic review of the literature. J Am Med Inform Assoc doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000748.