This article will conclude the series on providing high-quality cost-conscious medication therapy. Sharing this information with your patients could make a difference in seeing improvement in their condition. You can read part I and part II here.
Helping patients adhere to their treatment plan
Patients may skip, ration doses, cut pills in half or stop taking essential but expensive drugs. Here are some tips to help your patients adhere to taking their medicines as you have prescribed.
- Find out if cost is a factor and work with your patients (and the nurses you have assigned these responsibilities) to make certain essential drugs are taken as prescribed. For more information on how patients can save money on medications, check out part II of this series.
- If you patients’ symptoms are not under control, ask if they are skipping doses before prescribing additional medications.
- Review patient’s medications to see if there are generic combination drugs which may decrease the total number of medications needed.
- Encourage patients to become familiar with their insurance formularies and ask them to bring a copy of the formulary to their next visit.
- Ask your patient to keep their medications in a seven-day pill organizer and tell them to keep it where they can see it so they are reminded to take their prescriptions.
- See if your patient would like to try a service like PillPack, which mails medication to you organized in “dose packets” marked with the date and time they are supposed to be taken.
- Set your patient up with a smartphone app that reminds them to take their medication. Medisafe (and for Android) is a great app to try, or they could get something like the Tabtime Vibrating Pill Timer Reminder. Other apps you can recommend include Round, CareZone (and for Android), Mango Health (and for Android), and Pillboxie.
- Keep the lines of communication open and encourage patients to discuss any issues they have or those which may develop in the future.