By: Alexandra Domatov, Director, Implementation and Partnership Management at Wellstand Health
Hospital readmission rates expose both a devastating outcome for patients and a major cost driver for the American healthcare system. According to the Nationwide Readmissions Database, the overall 30-day readmission rate hovers around 14 percent, costing the United States an estimated $41.3 billion each year.
With advancements in digital healthcare, technology must play a bigger role in reducing Potentially Preventable Readmissions.
One of the leading causes of hospital readmissions is medication non-adherence -- patients who do not take their medications as prescribed by their provider. Roughly half of the 3.2 billion annual prescriptions dispensed in the US are not taken as prescribed.
The results are unacceptable; approximately 125,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medication non-adherence.
There are several reasons for this:
- Patients may be unable to afford medications
- Patients may have difficulty understanding or remembering instructions
- Patients may experiencing side effects from medications
- Patients may have negative beliefs about medications
- Patients may simply forget to take medications
Technology has the potential to play a significant role in improving medication adherence and reducing hospital readmission rates.
There are 3 critical areas where disrupting technologies can help healthcare providers make improvements that increase medication adherence and reduce readmission rates:
- Provide more choices upfront for their patients
By connecting to a pharmacy network and fulfillment gateway, providers can give patients the opportunity to choose a mail order option based on affordability, convenience, or other personal priorities.
- Create a program for adherence from check-in through fulfillment
With digital engagement tools, Providers must ensure a system where patients are supported with the right information, plan, and resources at every point of their patient experience to drive adherence.
- Connect patients with experts, wherever they are
Mail order & telehealth solutions provide a quick & easy way to connect a pharmacist to their patient, furthering the dialogue and ensuring direct support for the patient.
At Wellstand, our mission is to modernize the patient experience for major healthcare systems and life sciences companies. A new era of patient-centric pharmacy services is on the horizon, promising a brighter and more informed future for all.