Poor adherence to medicine is a global problem as approximately 50% of patients with chronic illnesses do not take their medication as prescribed 1. This leads to increased morbidity and death, costs around $100 billion per year1, and is an issue that a New Zealand Pharmacy Group is aiming to solve with a new software service. 

While there are a large number of reasons for non-adherence, Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group (CCPG) is approaching the issue from a patient perspective, giving them the digital tools to help them take control of their health. The Medications Management Service (MMS) targets consumers who are at risk of medicines-related harm, and identifies them through collaboration with other healthcare professionals. The system gives pharmacists the opportunity to provide more thorough care to individuals who need it.

Keeping track of medications and all the instructions that come with them can be hard for people with more than one health issue. Not having any way of recording this information electronically so that other people involved in the patient’s care can access, may cause a lot of potential harm to patients, sometimes even making the issue worse if medication is not taken as prescribed.

According to Gareth Frew, the pharmacist community share a strong ambition to help those most at risk of medicine-related harm. This is why pharmacists are thrilled about the new system, as it could help reduce adverse drug reactions significantly as well as increase adherence.

In order to achieve Canterbury’s vision of keeping people healthy and well in their own homes, medication adherence is essential and can be improved easily through the right solution.

Empowering patients to understand what medications they should be taking, what they are for, and when and how to take them is a significant enabler for medication adherence and, consequently, patient wellness.

Medication Management Service has streamlined the documentation process for pharmacists, reducing the amount of time spent logging information into the system, meaning they have more time to interact with patients.

The solution developed by Orion Health works by creating a series of tasks for the pharmacist that can be viewed in a task list in the patient’s electronic record. HealthOne, the platform that connects care givers across the South Island, is an essential part of MMS, sharing important health information with pharmacists and others in the patient’s Circle of Care.

By adding themselves to the Circle of Care, pharmacists become visible as a member of the integrated care team to all other healthcare providers. Within the system, pharmacists can add any drug reactions, reducing the number of potential adverse drug reactions in the future.

There are two reviews under MMS: Medicines Adherence Consultations designed to promote better understanding and self-management; and Medicines Optimisation Assessments, involving collaboration between the pharmacist and General Practitioner to achieve optimal results from medications. 

“Both of these services help pharmacists to identify what matters to the patient, not what is the matter with the patient” – Gareth Frew

The solution now allows pharmacist reports, along with other documents such as discharge summaries and specialist letters to clinicians, to be visible to users across the system. This is benefitting those involved in an individual’s care, but also encouraging self-management so that people can stay on top of their health.

Click below to find out more about the Medications Management Program.