Medication Adherence Texting Pilot Program
Non-adherence to medications is considered to be one of the largest drug related issues. Consequences of non-adherence include worsening condition, increased comorbid diseases, increased health care costs, and death.
Cell phones and other consumer digital technologies have emerged as potentially powerful tools to engage patients in health care by improving providers’ capacity to reach vulnerable populations and actively engage them in their care. Text messaging represents a desirable, low-cost means to amplify and reinforce patient-empowerment strategies among underserved populations. A pilot with free and charitable clinics in the use of this technology represents a strong opportunity to elevate the capacity of a sector poised for additional technology investments.
In support of this pilot program, AstraZeneca provided AmeriCares with a committed supply of Crestor in order to assess the impact of a medication adherence texting program on vulnerable populations.
This texting program (in partnership with CareMessage and their technology) will combine medication reminders and adherence messaging with general educational and disease self-management content to promote positive behavior change for vulnerable and diverse populations. The CareMessage platform is designed specifically to serve the populations that use free and charitable clinic services, including low-income and/or non-English speaking patients with low levels of health literacy.
Scheduled to run from January 2016 through July 2016, this program will be measured to determine success based on (1) retention rate, (2) response rate, (3) changes in knowledge of high cholesterol and (4) changes in self-reported medication adherence. While in the early phases, this program, if successful, presents an opportunity for expansion across the free clinic sector as well as an opportunity to make significant impacts on patient medication adherence in vulnerable populations.