Some Good Reasons to Raise Patients’ Medication Awareness

Monday, December 21st, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Of all the reasons for heart failure hospital readmissions, which account for the lion’s share of Medicare readmissions, half are related to diet non-adherence and drug non-adherence, says the education coordinator for Hackensack University Medical Center’s heart failure team in a featured story in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update. Even more sobering: a new University of Colorado finding that 96 percent of discharged patients were unable to recall the name of at least one medication that they had been prescribed while in the hospital. Also, almost half of study participants believed they were taking a medication when they were not.

With $27 million in Recovery Act funds just allocated to help older individuals with chronic conditions manage and improve their health, communities should dedicate a portion of these funds to programs that raise patients’ medication awareness levels. Confirming that a patient clearly understands the purpose for taking each medication is part of Dr. Eric Coleman’s three-question Care Transitions Measure, a patient survey endorsed by the National Quality Forum that reflects how well a hospital has prepared a patient for discharge.

A recent HIN blog post suggests a strategy for improving patient motivation for medication adherence.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.