by Todd Wormington, R.Ph, MBA, Sr. Clinical Product Manager, Omnicell, Inc., on April 04, 2016
This year World Health Day is focused on Diabetes with the mission of supporting this patient population with education and information to make their lives easier and healthier. As pharmacists, we know this group well as they rely on medications that must be taken correctly to impart the greatest clinical benefits.
Beyond the traditional tools to support proper adherence, there is increasing research being published looking at tendencies from this population. Recently, research shows that using big data to identify the root cause of patients’ non-adherence is possible. The study examined a group of Type 2 diabetes patients and utilized analytics from EHRs, pharmaceutical data with patient prescription filling habits, and information from patient surveys on barriers to adherence.
There are also growing numbers of specialty pharmacists, not as a marketing tactic to draw in customers, but to be fully committed to helping these patients thrive. For many diabetics, they are not the typical ‘sick’ patients; rather they must lead a lifestyle that requires daily care and they rely on their pharmacists and other care providers for support. The diabetes population deals with unique challenge of having to stay compliant to not just multiple medications, but also diet and exercise, which makes open lines of communication and patient engagement a top priority. This type of engaged care has already proven to be very successful with HIV pharmacies.
Pharmacists must have a commitment to education and communication with diabetes patients to ensure an individualized care plan is in place for treatment success. Each patient has a unique set of challenges they face – whether they deal with medications or diet, pharmacists and providers must proactively reach out to provide support. While further research is needed to determine how to most effectively identify the root causes of non-adherence in the diabetes population, solid framework for improvement is in place.