Staying Adherent, Staying Healthy A World Health Organization Update
Last summer, we learned that the World Health Organization (WHO) was undergoing a major initiative to reduce errors in healthcare – of which included medication administration. When we shared that update with you in August, they had just begun to bring those plans into action. Now, nearly eight months later, the WHO has made huge strides in the fight to reduce severe and avoidable medication-associated harm.
In January, the WHO published a handbook for their most recent fight in medication adherence: tuberculosis (TB). The handbook focuses on three technologies - short message service (SMS), medication event monitoring systems (MEMS) and video-supported treatment (VOT) - that are being widely employed in efforts to help TB patients complete their treatment over the many months that their drug regimens last. While SMS medication is already used by many pharmacies for refill reminders, sending dose reminders as an opt-in service are relatively unused. MEMS and VOT, while able to fit with blister packaging, are expensive options for small community pharmacies that are trying to stay afloat in a sea of big-box chain pharmacies.
The focused monitoring strategies may not work for everyone or every budget, but medication adherence and patient safety do not have to suffer despite budgetary or feasibility issues. Adherence packaging is a proven, cost effective way of managing adherence without sacrificing quality of patient care.
Medicine-On-Time is committed to reducing medication errors. With our simple, color-coded calendar cards, medications are packaged into the proper dosages and clearly labeled for easy, consistent compliance. The many benefits of Medicine-On-Time improve the quality of life for patients and the ones they love, by a scalable solution, including, but not limited to:
- Accurate, manageable medication solution
- Decreased gaps in medication therapy
- Fewer hospital visits
- Reduced burden on family and caregivers
As healthcare cost rise into the billions, patient-centered adherence interventions are the key to reducing overall healthcare costs. Community pharmacists are well-positioned for this because of access to prescription histories and the ability to monitor and intervene based on adherence findings. In addition to Medicine-On-Time adherence packaging, community pharmacists can offer ongoing communication and consultation services to their patients. This is critical for patient understanding and medication persistence, especially with mindful consideration that challenges can ebb and flow over time.