The pandemic has had a profound effect on the way people access healthcare. Health care requires a multi-faceted approach to make it easer to meet consumers where they are. Pharmacies all over play a critical role in supporting patients access to much needed services.
Patients failure to adhere to prescribed medications is one of the biggest threats to patients and the healthcare industry. Former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, MD, has said, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”
20% to 30% of prescriptions are never filled.
50% of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed.
When patients don’t take their medications (non-adherence) it places significant cost burdens on the healthcare system.
Patients who receive focused care and eduction from Pharmacists while transitioning out of the hospital showed higher satisfaction and lower readmission rates. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has stated;
Patients who received a follow-up phone call from a pharmacist after hospital discharge have seen a 5% drop in hospital 30-day readmission.
Most of the medication errors involved in the potentially preventable readmissions were classified as non-adherence.
A potential cause of readmission is non-adherence is due to the access to prescribed medications. Patients are frustrated with the wait that they have to go through to get prescriptions filled. With healthcare moving more to Telehealth over the past year pharmacies need to innovate news ways to position their role in patient care.
Solutions to close the non-adherence gap may include, more eduction from medical staff, prescription delivery and pairing Telehealth with pharmacies. Patient adherence saves on readmissions, drug cost and healthier public health!