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Turning medication non-adherence on its head

I didn’t realize how challenging it is to manage multiple medications until I helped my dad recover from bilateral knee replacement surgery just a few weeks ago. He was released from the hospital with five new medications to take in addition to the four from his pre-surgery routine. Some were prescribed for twice a day, some one time per day, some as needed, some with food – I read through the 16 pages of discharge instructions and medication details. I organized the pill box and hoped I had done everything right. I double-checked it again against the medication instructions for sanity.

I was thankful my dad wasn’t doing this on his own. I was thankful I had some confidence that I had accurately read through the instructions and made sense of it all. I was thinking about the Meducation® solution from First Databank and thankful that patients and caregivers, especially those who have low health literacy or have limited English proficiency, have a solution that can help them feel confident  by understanding their specific instructions when taking their medications in a simple and intuitive way.

The medication adherence challenge

Today, in addition to all those individuals recovering from surgeries of some kind, an additional 145 million Americans suffer from chronic diseases and the research indicates that only half are taking their medications as prescribed. The consequences can be devastating, including on-going health problems and higher use of costly acute care, such as hospitalizations and surgeries. Many of these consequences are avoidable if we can get patients to stick to their prescribed medication regimens.

Adding to the medication adherence challenge is the issue of health literacy: One in three Americans is either low health literate or has limited English proficiency. Offering a way for patients and their caregivers to easily understand and in multiple languages when and how to take their medication will go a long way to increase medication adherence and patient outcomes.

Here’s the good news: Meducation is an innovative app that delivers simplified medication instructions for patients and caregivers, especially due to low health literate, language barriers or vision impairment. The solution enables providers to dynamically create fully personalized, simplified patient medication instructions, in more than 20 languages — written at a fifth- to eighth-grade reading level with large font sizes, pictograms and videos — to make understanding how to take medications intuitive and simple. All within the Allscripts Sunrise™ EHR workflow.

Watch a brief video that demonstrates Meducation and how it works:

Hospitals using Meducation thus far have demonstrated improved medication adherence, decreased readmissions and improved patient satisfaction. The result is improved patient health outcomes and reduced medical costs, as well as improved scores and funding under various CMS Pay for Performance programs like Hospital Value-based Purchasing Program and Hospital Readmission Reduction Program. Also, Meducation can help Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other risk-based contract programs for population health initiatives.

Want to learn more about our developer partner Meducation? Visit the Allscripts Application Store, or join us for the Allscripts App of the Month webinar on Wednesday, March 14, 1 p.m. Eastern time where you hear first-hand from Lori McLean, VP, Meducation, First Databank and Allscripts client Michael Sanchez, Pharmacy Program Director, Health First.  

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