Medication adherence is a crucial component of a patient’s therapy, both in terms of their health and their ability to save money. A patient’s adherence to their prescription regimens can have a significant effect on their quality and length of life, health outcomes, and overall health care expenses. But how do health care practitioners originate and transmit this message to patients in a way that is both persuasive and non-dominant? The solution is medication compliance programs. Medication adherence programs are described as those aimed to increase the frequency with which patients take their prescribed medications (Osterberg & Blaschke, 2006).
The implementation of such initiatives can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs at both the patient and system levels. To ensure that the design of these programs will modify a patient’s behavior in order to inspire them to implement change, we must first identify the elements that cause or affect non-adherence.
It is less probable that a patient will adhere to a drug regimen if he or she is experiencing financial troubles.
Lack of coverage, high out-of-pocket payments, and lack of access to care in general may prompt patients to resort to other tactics in order to offset the cost. Patients who cannot afford their drugs may reduce the dosage and frequency advised, or they may not complete their prescriptions at all.
If a patient does not have a thorough knowledge of the necessity of the medication, the anticipated adverse effects (AEs) or the length of time it will take to see results can swiftly derail their motivation and adherence to their prescribed therapies. When a patient is on many medications, miscommunication becomes even more complex. As the number of medications, dose frequencies, and potential adverse events (AEs) increases, so will the possibility of barriers that influence a patient’s willingness and capacity to commence or continue treatment.
Lack of symptoms should also be considered. A patient may perceive a drug as ineffective and/or unnecessary if they are not experiencing any symptoms that are directly impacting their quality of life. If a patient is unable to perceive, comprehend, or value the efficacy of their drug, they may be open to modifying or even discontinuing their prescribed therapy. A stigmatizing barrier to medicine adherence might be held by negative beliefs. Concerned with how adherence to a medicine can affect their everyday lives, patients may experience anxiety or terror. Patients’ perceptions about their prescriptions can be negatively impacted by potential adverse effects, concerns about becoming reliant, and a lack of communication between the patient and practitioner. The prevalence of mental health problems among patients is a further factor that must be overlooked. Depression and anxiety can undoubtedly discourage individuals from taking their prescriptions as prescribed. A patient with a comorbidity is likely to have more complex problems with drug adherence, and a mental health diagnosis is no exception.
Consequently, there are a number of obstacles to consider while establishing and planning medication adherence programs. There are, however, effective measures that can be employed to overcome these obstacles and increase adherence rates among a certain patient population. The initial step is to identify and evaluate any patient-specific obstacles. Proactive health care professionals that undertake needs assessments, illness state-specific segmentation, and use predictive analytics to uncover patients’ behavioral trends can acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the patient journey. In identifying patient-specific obstacles, predictive analytics is very useful.
Assume we are evaluating a patient’s adherence to ensure that they do not abruptly stop taking their prescription. If we adopt approaches for predictive analytics, we can consider our patient’s aggregated claims data, eligibility information, and disease information. With all of these critical variables at our disposal, we can begin to formulate relevant hypotheses on the medication adherence of a certain patient and the likelihood that they will deviate from their drug regimen.
The subsequent tactic is to meet patients where they are. If your medication adherence program is truly patient-centered, you will have a significantly greater likelihood of success. A more in-depth and perceptive examination of the patient’s treatment path will increase the likelihood of success. Creating a personalized care plan is essential. Each patient care plan should include anticipated hurdles, the patient’s values and motivations, and a list of both short-term and long-term objectives.
For health care providers to get a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s perspective, risk assessment and motivational interviewing are necessary. Early identification of a patient’s needs leads to a personalised strategy based on the sort of instruction the patient will require and the level of engagement assistance required.
Patients should feel empowered to participate in an adherence program as a result of the patient-centric strategy. Moreover, these patients must be provided with all the essential skills to effectively manage their own therapeutic outcomes.
The final strategy is technology implementation. This is crucial for obvious reasons, but a less visible aspect is how technology may facilitate better and more frequent contact between patients and health care providers.
Patients must have access to a customised support system with live outreach capabilities to communicate with their physicians and caregivers. To obtain the greatest potential outcome during a patient’s treatment journey, there must be a particular level of empathy and an easily available communication platform between patient and provider.
Text messaging, email, and phone conversations all contain a human element that permits the transmission of personalized content to a patient at the most opportune time. Clearly, medication adherence is crucial for improving outcomes and reducing health care costs.
An effective medication adherence program will be heavily patient-centric with individualized adherence goals, will utilize the existing technology capabilities to draw relevant conclusions, and will encourage frequent and healthy dialogue between the patient and practitioner.