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How Specialty Pharmacies Can Improve Medication Adherence and Patient Outcomes

August 3, 2022

Article Summary


Specialty pharmacies serve patients who are managing medical conditions that often require complex therapies. These entities can implement patient engagement technology to improve medication adherence and patient outcomes in the following ways:

1. Streamline the process for getting a patient started on treatment.
2. Deliver educational resources and medication adherence reminders.
3. Automate refill and delivery notifications to create staff efficiencies.
4. Increase patient satisfaction, retention, and patient outcomes.

specialty pharmacy

Specialty pharmacies often serve patients who are managing medical conditions that require complex therapies. These treatment protocols can be confusing and overwhelming for patients who are just starting a new treatment. Patient engagement technology can help specialty pharmacies create a better patient experience, resulting in improved medication adherence, retention, and ultimately patient outcomes.

Using patient engagement technology, specialty pharmacies can support improved care in the following ways:

  • Streamline the process for getting a patient started on treatment.
  • Deliver educational resources and medication adherence reminders.
  • Automate refill and delivery notifications to create staff efficiencies.
  • Increase patient satisfaction, retention, and patient outcomes.

Streamline the Process for Starting a Patient on Treatment

Today’s healthcare consumer expects a high level of convenience and flexibility in their care. Specialty pharmacies must quickly establish a positive relationship with patients through proactive, relevant, and timely outreach.

Using technology, pharmacy care teams can automate outreach to a new patient, facilitate the collection of missing insurance information, communicate patient assistance programs, and provide medication pick-up or delivery notifications.

Deliver Educational Content and Medication Adherence Reminders

Once the patient is ready to begin taking their medication, patient engagement technology can deliver educational resources directly to their phone. Engagement tools can also share videos, PDFs, and links to brand websites to ensure the patient has the information they need to initiate treatment.

Additionally, ongoing medication adherence reminders ensure patients are taking their medications as prescribed over time. When patients have information and support around adhering to their medications, quality of life and clinical outcomes improve.

Automate Medication Refill and Delivery Notifications

Many specialty medications are delivered to patients’ homes and may require specific handling instructions, which require careful planning. If a pharmacy is using phone-based outreach to complete this task, extended rounds of phone tag could delay therapies and create inefficiencies. In addition, patients can forget or misunderstand delivery information, which can increase the risk of theft or loss through improper storage and thus a waste of expensive treatments.

Patient engagement technology offers secure messaging protocols that can automatically prompt patients to specify when they would like medications delivered and remind them on the day of delivery. This automation creates efficiencies for pharmacy teams and frees up time for care teams to focus on high-impact patient support.

Increase Patient Satisfaction, Retention, and Patient Outcomes

Engagement tools cans also send check-in surveys, allowing patients to report medication adherence issues or side effects they may be experiencing. These responses alert care teams to prioritize patient outreach to patients who need additional support.

In addition to improving medication adherence, patient engagement technology can significantly impact the patient experience, improving satisfaction, retention, and ultimately creating better patient outcomes. These tools can also give care teams a more complete picture of the patient regarding medication adherence, effectiveness, health changes, new symptoms, and disease flare ups.

Finally, staying connected to patients on a regular basis helps individuals feel supported and empowered in their care, increases retention, and helps care teams provide more comprehensive care. 

Interested in learning more? Download the case study, “Ensuring Convenient Refill and Delivery of Specialty Medications.”

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

Reduce Healthcare Inequities with Patient Engagement Technology

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