However you count them, the number of prescription items dispensed by pharmacists within the community is staggering. Of all the areas of waste within the NHS, patients’ failure to take the medicines they are prescribed is arguably the most difficult to understand.
According to latest estimates, this problem of non-adherence is draining in the region of £500m a year from an already cash-strapped health service. Up to 30% of prescriptions are not completed. Even when patients do complete their prescriptions, they may miss doses, take the wrong dose, stop treatment early or never start.
The reasons for their lack of adherence include behavioural issues, such as forgetfulness or procrastination; cost issues; and clinical issues, such as side effects as well as the fact that 60% of all educational materials are on paper.
Early identification of these patients paves the way for successful interventions before significant problems arise.The key to this approach is reaching out to patients before they miss a prescription.
SMARTER-BARCODES provide an array of different ways that information, education and Medicine Management can be provided to the Patient. By implementing proven strategies to increase adherence, Health Services can moderate their costs and reduce waste.
By simply scanning the barcode on the medication a patient can be provided with a video all about the medication. For example, what the drug is, when it should be taken, how it should be stored etc. Also, by linking to the Medicine Management app on your mobile phone, as a patient you can review your drugs and set times when you want to be reminded to take them as well as record details such as when you have finished the course of drug (and much more).
SMARTER-BARCODES enable the patient to learn more about what drugs they are taking as well as manage the times and amounts that are taken each day. This information can be accessed by the patient to check on how well they are adhering to the scheduled course of medications.