A patient-centered approach to medication adherence

pill bottle
Individualized solutions are necessary to improve medication adherence, according to two bloggers.

There is a wide-ranging list of reasons why patients may struggle to adhere to a medication regimen, so providers must develop tools and strategies that target each individual’s needs, suggest two Duke University professors.

A patient-centered approach to improving medication adherence is necessary to address how widely patients’ situations can vary, wrote Leah L. Zulig, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Duke University, and Hayden Bosworth, Ph.D., research professor in medicine, psychiatry, behavioral science and nursing at Duke University Medical Center, in a NEJM Catalyst blog post.

Conference

13th Partnering with ACOS & IDNS Summit

This two-day summit taking place on June 10–11, 2019, offers a unique opportunity to have invaluable face-to-face time with key executives from various ACOs and IDNs from the entire nation – totaling over 3.5 million patients served in 2018. Exclusively at this summit, attendees are provided with inside information and data from case studies on how to structure an ACO/IDN pitch, allowing them to gain the tools to position their organization as a “strategic partner” to ACOs and IDNs, rather than a merely a “vendor.”

“There is no universal solution to improve adherence,” they wrote. “However, growing evidence suggests that combining approaches that are tailored to address a patient’s specific adherence barriers or challenges may equip patients with the understanding and tools they need to successfully engage in medication adherence.”

RELATED: PCMH model fosters better medication adherence

For instance, it's not uncommon for patients to struggle to remember when to take their medications. In these cases, effective solutions may include pill boxes and calendars, or reminder phone calls.

However, those solutions don't help patients who may never pick up their prescriptions in the first place. In such circumstances, the authors suggest it may be more appropriate for providers to reiterate the importance of the medication and safe dosage when the patients return for an office visit.

Providers have used a few other strategies to tackle the common problem of medication non-adherence as well. Texting patients to remind them about their medications has shown benefits, and some providers may try expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists, who would then be more free to follow up with patients to ensure they take their medications.

Suggested Articles

The FTC is suing health IT company Surescripts, accusing the company of employing illegal vertical and horizontal restraints in order to maintain its…

Amid last week’s opioid prescriber crackdown, the Justice Department coordinated with local agencies to deploy health workers to help pain patients.

A wearable device that uses AI to remotely track and analyze vital signs while worn by patients at home has been cleared by the FDA.