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Research Yields Resources for Patient Medication Education Initiative

Aim is to Help Practices and Clinicians Improve How They Talk to Patients About Prescriptions

September 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), with financial, scientific, and educational support from Merck, developed a suite of resources to assist doctors and other clinicians who want to improve medication adherence with better communication and patient education. These downloadable resources are available free of charge.

This research-based education initiative identifies processes that, when implemented, may help improve how clinical practices identify and address medication non-adherence. The aim is to provide patient-focused tools to foster communication about medications, what they are for, and how to take them properly. The resources provide practical tips to assist providers who want to improve how they talk to patients about their medicines. It includes and a checklist for patients, too.

The suite of resources includes:

  • Patient Education Medication Initiative, an interactive deck designed for doctors, clinicians and practice managers. It explains all the reasons why a medication education quality improvement project may be helpful.
  • How to Implement the Patient Medication Education Initiative, an interactive deck with recommendations and practical tips for how to set up a medication quality improvement program.
  • Patient Medicine Education Guide (for the patient), a template checklist of recommended topics for the provider to discuss with their patients. There is room for the provider to take notes for follow-up.
  • Patient Medicine Education Guide (for the provider), a template checklist of topics providers should discuss with patients during follow-up calls after the initial appointment and prescription. This is a patient-focused tool to foster communication about medications, what they are for, and how to take them properly.
  • Discussion Guide for Patient Follow-Up Call, a sample discussion guide to assist practices and providers with topics that may arise during follow-up calls. It helps the practice assess whether a patient filled the new prescription and is following the regimen as directed by their clinician.

According to a 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, non-adherence related expenses are estimated to be $100 to $300 billion per year in medical costs.

The reasons patients give for why they may be not taking their medications are broad-ranging and multifaceted. They include patients not understanding the benefits of medication, forgetfulness, believing medications were not working or no longer needed.

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