Simplify Medication Regimens to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Patients, particularly elderly patients, commonly leave the hospital with more medications than they were previously taking. More often than not, new regimens are more complex and help contribute to medication non-adherence, which leads to hospital readmissions and increased costs for patients and health care providers.
A recent study concluded that “complexity of medication regimens is a major concern for patients with chronic illness and their caregivers and increased regimen complexity is associated with medication non-adherence and medication errors. Prescription of multiple medications is common in older patients, and may be unavoidable in those with multiple morbidities. Admission to hospital usually leads to changes to older patients’ medications including addition of medications, often resulting in increased regimen complexity at discharge.” (Elliot et al., 2013).
These regimens however can be simplified for better, clearer understanding by end users or caregivers “without altering the therapeutic intent of the regimen,” as stated in the article. Some examples range from consolidating dose-times for multiple medications, switching to medications or dose-forms with less complex administration requirements, switching to formulations that require fewer dose-times per day, or providing medications in multi-dose adherence packaging will ultimately simplify regimens and improve medication adherence and health outcomes. (Elliot et al., 2013).
Clinics ranging from outpatient, long term care facility, and retail pharmacies can all benefit from multi-dose packaging and its ability to simplify medication regimens for improved medication adherence and an overall better quality of life for their patients. Rohan, et al.’s study asserts that when hospital pharmacists focus on reviewing regimen complexity during routine in-hospital medication reviews, the increase in regimen complexity upon discharge could be reduced.
Multi-dose dispensing provides packaging of all medications for each administration time into a single, easy-to-open pouch. Each pouch has all necessary information printed on the pouches, including patient name, dosage, drug name, description, and clear, concise, easy to understand directions for each medication administration. Because every medication for a specific administration time is packaged in a single pouch, both caregiver and patient can easily administer the right medications at the right time. Pharmacists providing multi-dose adherence packaging help patients to more clearly understand their medication administration process.
Pearson Medical Technologies offers automated multi-dose dispensing systems that can be interfaced with any pharmacy information system. The IP128APS or IP256APS offers advanced multi-dose packaging technology small enough to fit into any pharmacy at an affordable cost. Grow your business and keep your patients coming into your pharmacy with an on-site, multi-dose packaging system from Pearson Medical Technologies. Visit our website at www.pearsonmedical.com for more information or give us a call at (866) 640-3603.
Elliot et al. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy. Impact of an intervention to reduce medication regimen complexity for older hospital inpatients. 2013.