Medication adherence is an effort in long-term care facilities that is a constant. There are a number of reasons why, and several contributing factors, but there are also solutions available that minimize the burden on caregivers and providers at long-term care facilities.
As a pharmacy that specializes in supporting long-term care facilities, we at UnitedRx offer a variety of ways that help foster medication adherence. Genetic testing that provides individualized medication efficacy and side effect deterrence, long-acting dosage forms that reduce complex administration schedules for both nursing and patient ease, unit-dose packaging formats like single-medication blister cards to multiple-medication strip packets along with a number of other hard pack and strip packaging options. Because of our experience and technology we’re able to customize an approach that makes the most sense for each individual facility and sometimes each individual patient.
Medication adherence, as it turns out, is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. In fact, the World Health Organization years ago declared that medication adherence may make more of an impact on ongoing health than the advancement of certain medical treatments.
Industry research indicates that a lapse in medication adherence can account for up to 50% of treatment failures, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths every year and accounting for about a quarter of hospitalizations in the U.S.
Statistics indicate that achieving optimal therapeutic results requires a rate of 80% for medication adherence, although most people with chronic conditions only commit to about 50% adherence.
While there are a number of different ways to improve medication adherence, it helps to first understand why that adherence has become an issue in the first place. Many times the issues begin with patients who don’t understand the prescribing information on the medication, don’t understand its importance, are unable to manage their medications properly or feel left out of the decision-making process for medications.
Personality factors and other, long-term conditions related to mental wellbeing and cognitive function may also play a role in medication adherence.
Regardless of the reason that influence lapses in medication adherence, its importance can’t be overstated. When looking at chronic cardiovascular conditions alone, the consequences for missing medication or not following the prescribed guidelines of a medication can include severe, life-threatening outcomes — from stroke to heart attack to ischemic attacks.
Experts agree that a multifaceted approach to improving medication adherence is often required for optimal results, but clear lines of communication between the patient care team, the patient’s provider and a pharmacist is a good starting point. In addition, when that communication includes collaboration, the best solutions for each individual are uncovered.
The pharmacy team at UnitedRx understands the unique challenges facing providers and caregivers in long-term care facilities, from skilled nursing facilities to assisted living communities to correctional facilities, among other settings. That industry experience coupled with our approach to fostering communicative and productive partnerships with long-term care facilities allows us to uncover unique, and sometimes customized, solutions that benefit both the patient and the staff at the facility.
To learn more about our medication adherence strategies, or to discuss the unique challenges you are facing at your facility, reach out to our team.
At UnitedRx, we deliver a hometown pharmacy experience to more than 400 clients across the country. Contact us to learn more about how our approach to treatment can meet the pharmacy needs of your long-term care facility.