Patients confused by their prescriptions or ignoring the advice of clinicians is a huge expense for healthcare providers.

Think of all the money spent on treating patients who are readmitted to hospital because they didn’t understand the risks of not taking their medications. You can also factor in the cost of the wasted medication that they didn’t use. It’s a huge waste, but the problem doesn’t lie completely with the patient. You only need to look at the vast array of pills a retiring baby boomer is prescribed to understand the problem. It would confuse anyone. 

Providing people with the tools to help understand the medication they’ve been prescribed, how and when to take them can improve medication adherence, and overall recovery. This is exactly what the Canterbury District Health Board had in mind. Their vision for the future of their community is that of an integrated healthcare system. Such a system allows people to become increasingly active in their own healthcare using modern technology.

Community pharmacists serving the 500,000 strong population of Canterbury are funded to perform Medicines Use Reviews (MUR) and Medicines Therapy Assessments (MTA) to improve medication adherence and optimise therapy. They required the quick rollout of a solution that would help patients keep a track of their medication, and also send vital information back to their care providers. 

In no time at all, Orion Health provided two solutions to support MURs and MTAs. 

The solution works by creating a task list in a patient’s electronic health record which can be viewed by an accredited pharmacist. The pharmacist can then review prescriptions with the patient and assess adherence, knowledge and effectiveness of this medication. Advice can then be given to the patient, their family and carers. Suggested changes to the medication can also be communicated to the patient’s General Practice Team for their consideration. 

The project went live just five months after initiation. 

In the two months following implementation, 55 community pharmacies around the Canterbury region were participating in the program. This number rose to 80 in the following month. During this period, there has been an average of 100 MUR reviews performed per month. 

Orion Health will continue to update and optimise the solution, with an update due in the coming months. The success of this project has helped patients and their families to become more active in their healthcare, and allowed for a timely, safe and effective review of medications in the Canterbury community.


To read the entire Canterbury DHB Case Study please click the link below the quote.

  • “This was a very challenging project with tight timeframes. Integrating clinical workflow with IT functionality is always difficult. Orion Health worked with the team to understand the requirements and developed the solution in an efficient timely manner.”

    Gavin Young

    Technology Lead, Shared Care