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How EMR usage can make a difference in medication non-adherence?

December 4, 2019 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team


Medication non-adherence can be described as either patient intentionally or unintentionally failing to take medication as per prescriptions.

Medication non-adherence is a critical problem as it is not easy to detect. Many times the problems exist within healthcare systems. Other times problem occurs due to socioeconomic factors. Medication non-adherence has serious health consequences ranging from a lower quality of life and ill driven warning to death.

As a result of this fall in health may cause more emergency room visits. Medication non-adherence not only affects patient's health but also contributes to 290 billion dollars annually in added cost to health care systems according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) survey.

NCPA finds out major factors that contribute to medication non-adherence:

  • Communication between patient and pharmacy staff?
  • How reasonable it is for them to bear their medications?
  • How often they visit their health care?
  • How much importance do they give to the medication that is prescribed?
  • How well they are informed about their health?
  • To which extent their medication causes unwanted side effects?

So what are the solutions?

Well, there is not any universal solution to improve adherence. However, once the source of the problem is identified one can tailor a solution to meet the patient's needs. The healthcare provider needs to maintain a trustful, comfortable relationship with the patients.

Moreover, prescriptions refill records and pills count do not grant the correct measure of adherence rates. It is very important for health care, especially for physicians to have an eye on their patient's prescriptions.

Here is how modern EHR can help to solve this problem:

First of all, it is important to identify that there is no complete remedy to this problem and there will always be a few cases of prescription recklessness. Though EHR technology the barriers for getting medication prescribed can be reduced.

Following issues come to my mind that can be solved through EHR:-

  • Cost checking from the patient's point of view will help physicians prescribe the best option to be filled.
  • Prescription through EHR can cut down the waiting time in the pharmacy. However, creating a paper receipt in health care can provide a good reminder to the patients to visit the clinic (and can make patients remember what prescription was given).
  • Electronic health reports through EHR showing events, schedule so that there will be no gap in filling the medication. The patient can receive alerts, reminders for visit and their medications.
  • EHR provides critical alerts about a patient's health status so the patient will be aware of their health and take medication as prescribed.
  • Through EHR patients can be reminded about their medication by EHR systems' patient portal or by messaging.
  • E-prescription by EHR can help to improve medication adherence and total medical cost.

The transformation of EHR technology will give tools that are useful for physicians to solve the problem related to medication non-adherence. Moreover, such tools are widely adopted for meaningful use and it will surely reduce the health care cost that non-adherence adds.

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