Breaking Communication Barriers: Using Mobile Technology to Improve Health Outcomes

Breaking Communication Barriers: Using Mobile Technology to Improve Health Outcomes

Mobile hPrescriptionealth technology is playing an increasingly important role in helping patients help themselves by adhering to medication regimens. Improved communication between providers, health plans, and patients has proven to be the key.

Toll of medication non-adherence

In a perfect world, everyone would take their medications on time and as directed, but in this imperfect world, medication non-adherence costs the U.S. dearly in money and lives. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy reports on the toll it takes on the chronically ill:

Chronically ill patients are another vulnerable population, with medication adherence dropping after the first six months of treatment. The chronically ill are also particularly vulnerable to poor health outcomes if they do not adhere closely to their medication regimen, and non-adherence can lead to more outpatient medical care visits and hospitalizations. Further, patients with chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease, who do not adhere to medication instructions, have significantly higher mortality rates than those who do adhere.

Barriers to medication adherence

The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation has identified several barriers to medication adherence. These include forgetfulness, imperfect drug regimens, lack of information about side effects, and managing multiple prescriptions.

Mobile health technology provides a means to overcome these barriers to adherence. Delivering messaging and reminders through a patient’s preferred method of communication has been shown to be an effective way to increase compliance. Studies show that 21 percent of consumers want to receive health information via SMS text message. When it comes to managing their health, about 77 percent of patients say they are comfortable with using technology to help them.

A need for multiple messaging platforms

It is important that mobile health apps have the ability to take advantage of a variety of messaging platforms — including text messaging and email. For example, RxEOB®MercuryMessaging™  can provide branded, personalized and contextualized communication using each member’s preferred method. On the backend, it offers in-depth analytics that enable real-time member targeting.

Offering pharmacy benefit analytics, portals, mobile applications and reporting, RxEOB’s products help health plans and PBMs engage patients for better pharmacy utilization and adherence. For more information on how RxEOB can help reduce your overall health care costs, please visit:  http://www.rxeob.com  or call 804-643-1540, ext. 226.