4 ways to improve medication adherence

Have you ever asked yourself why your patients never complete their medications and how you can help them? Could there be something acting on them, like the earth’s gravitational force, pulling them away from adhering to their medications? Well, you are not alone.

Facts first! Do you know that poor adherence to a drug schedule is a global problem affecting over 50% of patients? According to the American Medical Association, patients do not take their medications as prescribed half the time. To put your mind in context, Simi who had just been diagnosed with a medical condition, and the appropriate drugs administered to her, has suddenly, due to a feeling of relief neglected her medication schedule!

Yeah, if you are the pharmacist for Simi, then today is your lucky day. Here are 4 ways you can adopt to improve your patient’s medication adherence and help them take control of their health:

Start by Setting reminders

You should encourage that they start setting reminders. They are the easiest way to call your mind to action when you get caught up with the bustles and hustles of their days. It can also be fun, as there are a couple of To-do apps that are fanciful and could help them remember, with customizable commands and speeches to help remind them of their drug schedule.  

Go a step further! Offer to help them set it up. Remind them that they should be more intentional by actually moving themselves to take the drugs when the time goes off.

Connect them to a doctor

If it were easy to do, connect them with a doctor or a much senior colleague. Speaking with another pharmacist or consultant is important for helping them remember. They are like cues. Supporting the very first step you must have helped them with. Sometimes, simplifying the meds can also make a lot of difference. Spacing the time, especially if it possible to do can help them adhere to the schedule.

No. It does not mean that you do not trust yourself.. Remember, it is the patient’s health you are trying to help nurture back. I know, you are not their nurse. But a little extra can make a difference between your pharmacy practice and others.

Ask their loved ones to help

We all need that extra push in our lives, and our loved ones can play that character in our walk to optimal schedule adherence. As you know they can be a source of love, peace, and confidence to us. For a patient, under a strict medication schedule, this is also true.

Wherever, possible, remind their loved ones that the patient is also their responsibility and they would be doing them good by helping them remember to take the medications or at least ensuring that they do not snooze their alarms when the reminder bell rings from their smartphones.

So, it is in order to speak to their friend, family member or partner who may or may not have (supposing you can get in touch with them) followed them to your practice. who can help you monitor your compliance to schedule.  Their compelling words of encouragement can be the major influencer in ensuring the medications are taken judiciously.

Help them seek knowledge

Lastly, having the right knowledge about anything sets you up for success when dealing with the same. Knowledge is power as we know, therefore it is important that we understand how important completing our medications can be. Help them find answers. Your response should be from a place of authority and compassion. Authority, so that they understand that you know what you are sharing. Compassion because they are your patient and sometimes only want to know to avoid stories.

It is also okay to tell them that you do not know or that you’d ask a colleague. Asking questions about the drugs being administered  to you should not make you think they are trying to belittle you. It can be annoying sometimes, I know.

However, answering their questions would give you the chance to buttress the importance of adhering to the medication and not abusing it.

There you have it, help your loved ones take their lives back by following the above strategies. The above alone can help you stand out in a competitive location.

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2 responses to “4 ways to improve medication adherence”

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