Patient Safety Company Aegate, a specialist in real-time communication of patient safety messages to the pharmacist, has launched a patient compliance support service in Belgium, enabling pharmacists to remind patients to take their medication.
One of the first programs to increase adherence to treatment, will cover a vaccine in which the administration takes place in three separate injections.
Patient adherence to prescribed treatments is a major problem for health professionals. Various studies have confirmed the importance of the role of pharmacists in this area, one in particular revealed that 90% of patients see their pharmacist as an equal health advisor to their physician. Through personal communication with the patient, the pharmacist has the ability to increase the adherence of 5% to 15%, which has a positive impact in terms of public health. Indeed, when the drug is not taken as prescribed, its efficacy may be less, and for some diseases, this lack of adherence may have a negative impact on the quality of life of the patient.
A study carried out in 2005 in Belgium of 392 patients receiving anti-cholesterol medication, found a 6.5% increase in the rate of adherence to treatment through individualized follow-up actions. “One of the problems frequently encountered with patients taking long term treatments is that the patient abandons the treatment after a few months, with risks of complications, even fatal.” commented Xavier Van der Ghinst, General Manager of Aegate Belgium.” as a company committed to patient safety we want to provide useful tools to pharmacy that could help”.
Another study conducted in Spain (2001) regarding vaccinations against hepatitis A and B (3 doses), confirmed the effectiveness of a reminder campaign using SMS. 90% of patients who received the SMS reminder service received their second injection, 15% more than in the control group. By the time of the third dose, the adherence rate of patients with a reminder was twice as high, compared to the control group.
“Our patient safety communications service works seamlessly inside pharmacy software systems in Belgium and is a natural platform for innovative tools to support the healthcare that the pharmacist is able to provide”, commented Van der Ghinst , “This service is extremely simple to use. The pharmacist is able, on behalf of the patient to register for reminders when he / she comes to fetch his medication at the pharmacy. SMS messages reminding him to take his or her treatment will be delivered according to the schedule of the prescription.”