Pharmacists have been interested in adherence well before Star Ratings came to be—but in these times of soaring health costs and shrinking margins, the topic is ubiquitous. It’s even part of a push for adherence education and communication among the direct-to-consumer faction within the pharma industry itself. Medication synchronization winds up on most lists of tips to improve adherence, and it’s a program pharmacists like for a range of reasons that go beyond better patient outcomes: improved workflow, more fills, and happier patients, to name a few.
In our Sterling pharmacies, we were certainly familiar with the benefits of the program. Like many other independent pharmacies, we’d been doing it for some patients for a while. But about a year ago, we decided to double down on our commitment to implement the program. Here are a few things we discovered along the way:
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Although its motive may not be wholly altruistic, big pharma is certainly joining in with other health care stakeholders in pushing adherence hard. What was once a packaging play and one-on-one health counselling, commonly practiced in many pharmacies, has evolved into mobile apps and beyond, into the potential for “smart pill” technology and smart inhalers, STAT news reports. This Australian team digs deep into studies of the why/why not on adherence in hematological cancer patients—maybe you’ll find some interesting nuggets—and adherence is a well-loved touchpoint in conversations about quality measures and initiatives catalogued by CMS. In December, the leader in AmerisourceBergen’s performance strategies group shared a nice piece on tips for promoting adherence among patients that’s worth a read. Number eight on that list, “synchronize medications,” is one that our own pharmacies have been highly focused on over the past year or so. Check out some of what we’ve learned on setting up a med sync program.
Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:
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