Med adherence intervention works in the short term

As medication noncompliance continues to run rampant in healthcare, new research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers some good news.

Case management, education, decision aids, reducing out-of-pocket expenses and improving prescription drug coverage are some interventions that can lead to short-term improvement of medication adherence for chronically ill adults, according to the AHRQ's new report.

Other effective interventions include collaborative care, reminders and pharmacist-led approaches.

The AHRQ report concluded that educational and case management interventions have the most robust evidence of improved medication adherence across various clinical conditions.

For specific clinical conditions, self-management had a strong effect on adherence to asthma medications in the short term, while collaborative care or case management programs improved short-term adherence for patients taking depression medications.

Another medication adherence strategy taking hold at hospitals is establishing pharmacies in-house, with 35 percent of the 5,000 U.S hospitals having at least one pharmacy aimed at patients being discharged to make sure they know and stick to their drug regimens.

However, the AHRQ report acknowledged the industry still has no "silver bullet" to getting patients to adhere to their medications.

It also found little proof that improved medication adherence means better outcomes, such as mortality, care quality, patient satisfaction, healthcare utilization and costs.

To learn more:
- here's the AHRQ abstract and executive summary