April 18, 2023
Mitzie Meyers, PhD, RN, CNE, AHN-BC, a professor in Pacific College’s nursing program, was recently interviewed for Healthcare IT Today’s article “What Tends to Go Wrong With Medication Adherence?”, the third in a series by Andy Oram about problems people have taking their medication. Many patients prescribed medications for management of chronic conditions don’t take them properly, or sometimes at all. This problem costs hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Read the first article in the series, “Using Technology to Address Medication Access”, for more on this aspect of the problem, or the second, “Helping People Take Their Meds”, which also included an interview with Caroline Ortiz, another Pacific College faculty member.
Daily life now sees all of us inundated with notifications, texts, emails, and letters–an unrelenting avalanche of attempts to get our attention, of which most are somewhere between irrelevant, annoying, and downright malicious. Oram discusses the need to ensure that crucial notifications such as those regarding our health must be tailored to the patient, genuinely useful, and timely. Messages reminding us to renew prescriptions when our healthcare provider has the data to show that we aren’t due for a renewal yet, or that we have never failed to renew it on time in many years, acclimatize us to ignoring all messages from our healthcare providers.
A breakdown in medication adherence also often occurs immediately upon discharge from a hospital: Dr. Mitzie Meyers points out that many patients enter the hospital in a crisis. Because payers want them discharged as soon as possible, they’re often exhausted, in pain, angry about needing new medication, or frustrated by their less-functional body while the hospital staff is trying to teach them about an array of unfamiliar pharmacologies. Afterwards, a nurse might follow up with a call at the most–this isn’t enough. Some services can combine multiple pills that patients need to take in bubble wrap; others can provide much longer runs of medication for chronic conditions all at once–up to a year or more–instead of mandating endless, manually-triggered renewals for conditions that aren’t going anywhere.
Read the Full Article on Healthcare IT TODAY