Today, there is an increasing significance in the healthcare system on the value of medicine. Hence, it is critical to make sure that medicine is taken as prescribed.
There is an arising question on how to significantly improve health results, lessen hospital and nursing home admissions, and possibly save up to $105 billion in health spending. There is a compelling chance to achieve this goal; greater and systemic attention to take our medications properly and with strict adherence.
It has been discovered as one of the primary reasons why patients don’t take medicines seriously. A number of factors that add to poor patient adherence include the challenge of managing a long-term treatment, side effects that seem intolerable, treatment costs, asymptomatic symptoms and often the patient cuts off treatment whenever they feel better.
The solution is to customize the reinforcement treatment compliance to each individual to improve patient adherence and expand the pharmacists role in pharmaceutical care.
The Pharmacists Role
Pharmacists are not only medical experts but also the most accessible and most consulted health professionals.
The role of pharmacists has been proven clinically to improve many positive outcomes for patient safety, improve drug therapy and disease treatment, efficient health care spending with medication adherence.
A growing number of countries have launched a review on adherence programs as included on a wider trend to expand the pharmacist’s role in medical and pharmaceutical care.
Adherence protocols are not to be used to control patients but to expose the errors. Therefore, a pharmacist should incorporate participative behavior and not authoritative. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for non-adherence, and it is a complicated issue.
Non-adherence is one of the most critical reasons for the failure of therapies and taking prescribed medication. But with utmost implementation and persistence of medication and therapy, patients can attain better clinical outcomes and achieve a healthier life quality.
Furthermore, pharmacists need to understand every patient’s knowledge, belief, and motivation before planning and strategizing an intervention.
Here are five helpful recommendations in which pharmacists help patients adhere to medication and treatment plans.
Suggest patients only use one pharmacy
This strategy ensures that the patient records are at a sole location which helps pharmacists track adverse events. Often, with each new prescription, there is a growing risk of drug-drug interaction. So, with only one pharmacy for prescription, pharmacists can track patients’ progress and gradually guide new recommendations.
Encourage patients to use pill dispensers.
Using a standard pillbox with partitions or compartments specifically designed for daily medicine intake of the week is a great way to organize prescribed medicine. A pillbox with a visual description image can tell the patient if they could take the prescription drug that day in an instant.
It is also recommended that patients post a reminder like a note to their wall or refrigerator to make it a part of their daily routine.
Explain options of early prescription refills
Some patients feel that going to the pharmacy may seem to be a struggle for medication adherence. Pharmacists claim that when medication refills are scheduled monthly at the same time or for every 60 days, the patients may be more mindful and aware of the prescription synchronization.
The pharmacist’s role is to educate the patient on the medicine they are required to take, the time of the day, and if the drug has to be taken separately from meals or other drugs, and the amount to be taken with each interval dosing. And with their help in the patients’ critical role in keeping a synchronized medication thru early refills increases their health and security.
Tip: Buying medication can be an additional burden to your finances, especially prescription drugs. Hence, don’t hesitate to get the coupon for your prescription so you wouldn’t worry about being unable to opt for early prescription refills.
Inspire patients to have a complete list of medication
Patients are required to keep an organized list of medications they should take, including the drug’s name, the dosage, when to take it, and for what purpose or condition it is for.
Pharmacists commonly advise patients to hand a copy to their physician and relatives in case of an emergency. It allows pharmacists or doctors to find out whether side effects or adverse interactions may happen.
Recommend patients for medication reviews
Pharmacists may suggest patients round up all their medications, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements, for a yearly review at the pharmacy. Pharmacists can help ensure that patients are taking the right medications and are not self-medicating or taking OTC drugs unprescribed.
Also, pharmacists make sure that they do not just buy vitamins that can reduce the efficacy of therapies that are also important to them.
Pharmacists promote advocacy for the patient in their medication and are encouraged to look for more ways to adhere to their medication. Pharmaceutical companies have a growing opportunity to increase their support for medicine adherence by a relative supply of information and guidance to the patients. Furthermore, pharmacists help by giving consultation to ensure that patients understand the reason as to why they are taking a particular medicine and how to take it.
Submitted by: Jack Harris
Image: Free Pik