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Patient Medication Adherence Should Be a Priority in Our Healthcare System

pills - medication adherence We live in a time when patients have more control over what kind of medications they take and how they take them. Though there are many positives associated with this freedom and the opportunities it presents, patient adherence has become a growing problem in our healthcare system. Many people fail to realize what can happen when individuals do not practice patient adherence, especially when it comes to taking their medication.

A CapGemini report estimates that the cost of poor medication adherence in the United States is as much as $188 billion annually. In addition to this staggering financial expense, non-adherence is damaging to an individual’s overall health and quality of life. It can lead to wellness delays, frequent hospital visits, hospital readmissions and, in extreme cases, death.

What Are Some Major Reasons Patients Fail to Adhere to Their Medications?

While the onus of patient adherence lies with the individual, there are steps the healthcare industry can take to promote adherence. Common problems that cause non-adherence include:

  • Unclear or confusing packaging. Sometimes patients are hesitant because they are afraid of unknown side effects, and sometimes the right medication information is not placed on the packaging. Smarter packaging has been proven to increase adherence, particularly when organizations implement compliance-prompting and calendarize unit-of-use packages.
  • Poor communication with their medical support team. Proper communication between a patient and their physician is necessary for patient adherence. When a patient has the support of an entire healthcare team, patient adherence will increase. This is largely due to both sides understanding what is expected of them.
  • High out-of-pocket costs. Patients are less likely to take medication they cannot afford.
  • Personal factors. Who the patient is also plays a large role in adherence. Lifestyle, culture and religious beliefs can influence whether someone takes a prescribed medication. Even gender is thought to impact adherence.

Learn More at the 7th Patient Engagement, Education and Adherence Summit

ExL Events is hosting the 7th Patient Engagement, Education and Adherence Summit on February 25-26, 2016. Conference attendees will benefit from lively sessions featuring leading industry executives as they discuss health literacy, the latest trends and best practices in adherence, patient education and engagement, and more. Register now to attend this event, or sign up to receive more information about this event as it becomes available.

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