How to Improve Patient Medication Adherence

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bottle of pills for medication adherence

It is important for patients to take the medications that their providers prescribe to them, yet this has historically been a challenge. Whatever the reason may be, medication adherence continues to be a barrier to improved patient outcomes. In the field of mental and behavioral health, medication adherence is non-negotiable to the success of the patient. One tool that is helping providers increase medication adherence is the implementation of electronic prescriptions. The first step to improving medication adherence is to understand why patients do not take their medications.

Why Do Patients Not Take Their Meds?

There are many reasons why an individual might not take their medications. Some of the most common include:

  • Concern – Starting a new medication, especially one that may alter your mood, is concerning for some individuals. Even though they want to improve, they may fear how medication might make them feel.
  • Cost – Many times, patients do not take their medications because of cost. Maybe they do not have good enough coverage, or they just assume the cost will be high, so they do not pick it up from the pharmacy in the first place.
  • Lack of Knowledge – While their provider may have explained the potential side effects of the medication, they still might not understand exactly how it works. This makes some hesitant to adopt new medications into their routine.
  • Too Much to Juggle- For those who are already on several other medications, keeping track of another one may seem difficult. They may lose track of what medicine they are supposed to take and at what time.
  • Low Symptoms – Sometimes, a patient starts a mental or behavioral health medication to find that it is helpful to them. Their decrease in symptoms may start to make them feel like they no longer need the medication, leading them to stop taking it.
  • Forgetfulness – One of the most common reasons for lack of compliance is forgetfulness. They may forget to pick up their medication after an appointment or forget to integrate it into their routine.
  • Inconvenience – By having to take a prescription to the pharmacy to get filled, the patient may feel they do not have the time in their day to dedicate to this and skip picking it up entirely.

The Dangers of Low Adherence

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they estimate that non-adherence causes 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in the United States. In order to achieve the goals that have been set during treatment, medication adherence is vital. Not taking medications as prescribed can lead to a decline in how the patient feels and work against the goals that have been set by their mental or behavioral health provider.

6 Ways an ePrescribe Tool Can Help with Medication Compliance:

  1. Manage Medication, Write Prescriptions, and Refills in One Place – With everything in one place, providers can easily manage their patient’s prescriptions and work with them to find the best options for them.
  2. Quickly Review Medication History – Review your patient’s entire medication history to ensure you are putting them on a path that makes sense for them and their history.
  3. Perform Formulary Checks – Create prescription price transparency with a tool that shines a light on the potential cost of prescriptions before the patient ever heads to the pharmacy.
  4. Reduce Medication Errors – Reduce medication errors with a clearer few into medication history and prescription interactions to improve clinical outcomes.
  5. Access to Information – To improve a patient’s understanding when it comes to their medications, ePrescribe tools help close the gap by providing quick access to medication information.
  6. Create a Convenient Experience – Send medications electronically to your patient’s most convenient pharmacy so that they are more likely to pick up their prescriptions.

ePrescribe tools are being used more and more across the united states and will continue to grow. Electronic prescriptions make it easy to improve medication adherence and improve the quality of patient care in the field of mental and behavioral health.



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