Medication Compliance and Tracking Technology: Another Tool for Pharmacists

January 27, 2015

Medication Compliance Tracking Technology

Medication compliance is a key component in maintaining patient health and quality of life; however, approximately 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Other factors contributing to medication noncompliance are related to patients (poor health literacy and lack of involvement in treatment decisions), physicians (prescribing complex drug regimens, communication barriers, and ineffective communication), and health care systems (office time limitations and lack of health information technology).1

Health care organizations are currently under increasing pressure to maintain a balance of patient care quality and adequate financial solvency. Inaccurate data and poor medication compliance has a direct impact on quality measures, resulting in lower financial reimbursement. Technology is needed that can assist both the health care organization and prescriber in optimizing HEDIS scores by improving medication compliance and overall patient outcomes.

Presently, there are a number of telecommunication/mobile treatment adherence platforms on the market to track specific patient metrics, including weight, calorie intake, blood glucose, and blood pressure. In particular are technologies to optimize patient medication compliance. One new technology worth discussing is the R3ISE software (R3 represents: Real time, Reporting, and Reinforcement), a Software as a Service (SaaS) from RDFISolutions LLC for medication compliance and tracking.

The HIPAA-compliant R3ISE mobile treatment adherence platform operates directly from a cell phone, through which patient metrics can be completely tailored to each individual's treatment needs. For a patient with uncontrolled diabetes who is noncompliant with his or her medication, codes corresponding to each sliding scale dose of subcutaneous insulin can be created and given to the patient. These codes can be affixed to the medication bottle or provided as a sheet to be placed in a location where the patient sees the codes on a regular basis for scanning once the medication is administered.

If a health care professional is tracking adherence to a patient’s antihypertensives, then time parameters should be set upon initial creation of the code. If the code scan is completed by the patient within the designated time parameter, an alert that the medication has been taken or not taken as prescribed will be sent to specific individuals, such as a prescriber, family member, or pharmacist. If no scan is completed, or if the scan is not completed by the appropriate time, an alert will be sent indicating that the patient is noncompliant. In addition, an action plan can be created to allow for community support and/or the health care professional to immediately contact the patient and reinforce medication compliance or address problems/barriers to the medication being used as prescribed.2,3

Due to continued advances in medication compliance tracking platforms, I would welcome comments on the use of this technology and the role of the pharmacist in its use.

References

1. Brown MT, Bussell JK. Medication Adherence: WHO Cares? Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86:304-314.

2. RDFISolutions LLC. Automated Reporting and Data Management Planning Document. January 2014.

3. www.rise-above.it. Accessed January 21, 2015.