While patient empowerment has been talked about for some time, COVID-19 has brought it front and center. Innovative approaches and strategies were needed to deal with our health during the pandemic. Between the home testing we all did, and the telehealth visits we participated in, we all realized we can and should take more responsibility for our own healthcare. Today’s patients are interested in tools that assist in empowering them.
When patients are empowered with information, capabilities, and resources, they can actively participate in their healthcare and better manage it. Effective patient involvement boosts health outcomes. Retail pharmacies can now choose packaging solutions that help increase patient empowerment.
Poor Medication Adherence is Pervasive
Poor medication adherence is a pervasive issue with significant health and economic implications. Despite mail-order pharmacies, refill programs, and texting reminders, medication adherence rates remain suboptimal for patients with chronic diseases. Nonadherence can account for up to 50% of treatment failures, 125,000 avoidable deaths yearly, and $100 billion annually in preventable healthcare costs.
Adherence rates of 80% are needed for therapeutic efficiency. However, adherence to chronic medication is around 50%. Plus, rates decline as the duration from when the prescription is written continues.
Calendarized Packaging Puts Power in Hands of Patients
While many are holding out hope that high-tech or AI will waive its magic wand to solve this problem, the answer may actually rest in the hands of the patients. Rather than dispensing medications in bottles that are merely a means of conveyance, they can be packaged in calendarized adherence blister packaging that helps patients who often have no idea of how adherent they truly are. Each dose taken creates a patient engagement experience, the calendarized blister is a user interface prompting the patient to be compliant and immediately alerts them when they have not been, which enables them to modify their behavior, if necessary, moving forward. Physical cues are integrated to remind patients to order refills.
Additionally, the abundant amount of real estate on both sides of the carton enables QR codes to be prominently displayed and can be a gateway to conveniently lead patients to online pharmacy resources or seamlessly connect patients to other ecommerce solutions. All of which can increase foot traffic at brick-and-mortar locations and eyeballs to the virtual marketplaces.
Information Fuels Patient Empowerment
The more information individuals have regarding their health, the better decisions they can make about their healthcare. Knowledge enables them to be partners in their healthcare and gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. Medication adherence packaging is a patient empowerment tool that allows patients to gain access to health data.
QR Codes Power Knowledge Valued by Patients
Medication adherence packaging provides a patient interface that can be integrated with other technology, such as QR codes, which patients highly value. Recent research revealed that 73% of individuals would scan QR codes on a package to access additional pharmacy services, easy refill options, and rewards programs. This provides an excellent opportunity to build convenient, seamless connections with other healthcare programs or ecommerce solutions. Additionally, 85% of research respondents said it would be important to them to be able to utilize the QR code to access web-based medication information.
The country is transitioning to a landscape of patient empowerment. Providing individuals withtools to improve medication adherence and access to their health data will help improve patient outcomes, maximize use of healthcare resources, and reduce health costs.