According to the American Heart Association, poor medication adherence costs the healthcare system approximately $300 billion annually due to medication-related problems. The article is published in Case Management Insider.
Medication-related problems are one of the leading reasons that people have to go back to the hospital after discharge. It could either be because patients don't have enough money to fill the prescription or did not follow their doctor's instructions because they did not understand them. Whatever the case may be, readmissions can be reduced by ensuring proper medication use.
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) also reports that nearly 20 to 50 percent of patients do no take their medication as prescribed either because of low health literacy, cost, lack of understanding why they need the medication, and inadequate follow-up. The American Heart Association estimates that poor medication adherence may be the cause of nearly 125,000 American lives each year as well as additional costs to the healthcare system.
The ACPM recommends the following strategies to prevent this and reduce readmissions. These will only be effective once healthcare providers have ensured that the patient understands the reasons for taking the medication and the benefits that can be derived from it. ACPM suggests using the acronym SIMPLE to gain better adherence:
- Simplify the regimen so that it is easy for the patient to take the medication.
- Impart knowledge so that the patient understands how and to take medication and would actually want to take it.
- Modify patient beliefs and human behaviour and help the patients to take control of their condition.
- Provide communication and trust and build a relationship with patients.
- Leave the bias and be understanding about the patient's socioeconomic status and cultural beliefs.
- Evaluate adherence and follow up with patients to ensure compliance.
Medication-adherence can also be improved by connecting patients to resources such as the FDA website that can help patients learn more about the medicines they are taking. Patients can also ask their pharmacist questions and be more aware of how to avoid medication mistakes.
The key is to make sure patients understand their medications, can afford them, and know the importance of taking them properly. This will help avoid potential problems and will reduce the risk of the patient landing back in the hospital after discharge.
Source: Case Management Insider
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