Patient portals offer numerous benefits across the board: to pharmacies, payers, and physicians as well as the patients themselves. Portals can provide a variety of services, including appointment scheduling, access to health records, lab test result viewing, and prescription refills. It’s this last function – that of prescription refills – that has been shown in a recent study to favorably benefit patient compliance.
According to research published in the journal Medical Care, when patients use online portals to refill prescriptions for statin medications, their medication compliance improves and their LDL cholesterol levels drop. This conclusion was drawn from examining portal use and health status of 17,760 diabetic patients prescribed statins. The ease of refills found with health portals resulted in a 6 percent improvement to medication non-compliance. This, in turn, improved cholesterol control.
Portals for physicians also support patient compliance. Our Therapy Access Portal (TAP App) at BioPlus is a secure web-based portal connecting prescribers to the pharmacy by bringing the pharmacy chart into the doctor’s office with real-time specialty pharmacy information and treatment monitoring. In this way, physicians can review patient interventions, check patient adherence to therapy, view other medications the patient may have shared with our pharmacy and not the physician, and know when medications ship out and are received by their patients.
Of special note relating to patient compliance, TAP App features an alert to physicians when their patients are not taking their medications as prescribed. In addition, this portal allows physicians to see interventions by BioPlus’ clinical pharmacists and make progress notes, thus completing the circle of communication between prescriber, patient, and pharmacy.
Patient compliance benefits from such portals, which then naturally supports better patient outcomes.
Stephen C Vogt, PharmD
President and CEO
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Sarkar U, Lyles CR, Parker MM, et al. Use of the refill function through an online patient portal is associated with improved adherence to statins in an integrated health system. Med Care 2013 Dec 26. [Epub ahead of print]