UPMC tackles medication nonadherence, achieves elephantine clinical and financial ROI

The issue of medication nonadherence is effectively documented. Within the us. Almost 30% of all prescriptions are by no diagram picked up at the pharmacy, and an estimated 18 million folks are unable to provide you with the money for their medications.


Examine contain shown that prescriptions with copays of $50 and above are virtually four times more more seemingly to be abandoned than those with less out of pocket costs.

Additional, virtually 16% of effectively being facility readmissions are driven by medication-connected issues, with virtually 40% of those being potentially preventable.

UPMC used to be seeking to search out ingenious strategies to take care of complications connected to each medication adherence and readmissions, while leveraging the clinical strengths of its pharmacies and streamlining operations.

“Affected person-centered care revolves round uncomplicated-to-exercise solutions and making a connection that is discreet for them,” acknowledged Rebecca Taylor, PharmD, senior director of pharmacy at UPMC. “We wished something that used to be uncomplicated and accessible to most of the population.

“It’s estimated that bigger than 90% of the population has salvage entry to to a mobile phone for text messaging, so we knew utilizing that avenue on the complete is a doable solution,” she added.


UPMC Enterprises built a technology suite and deployed it across the UPMC Health Map. It’s a affected person administration platform for pharmacy that identifies and prioritizes patients who may perchance effectively be at possibility of nonadherence.

From there, an AI-driven virtual assistant reaches out to patients through SMS to contain interplay all of them the diagram in which through their medication hurry (prior to first-occupy, between fills, replenish toughen and previous). Unbiased no longer too lengthy within the past, effectively being IT vendor Come Health purchased the UPMC-developed pharmacy technology.

“UPMC pharmacy consultants gave their clinical insights into what would operate the product a success, and engineers at UPMC Enterprises labored to bring the technique to lifestyles.”

Kathryn Heffernan, UPMC Enterprises

“UPMC’s Retail Pharmacy network partnered with UPMC Enterprises, the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, in looking for technology-enabled services to solve all these complications,” acknowledged Kathryn Heffernan, director of product administration at UPMC Enterprises.

“The groups collaborated on extra determining the issue, aggressive panorama and doable payment of a solution earlier than making the choice to provide out a minimal viable product of the pharmacy administration platform and corresponding chatbot to pilot,” she persevered. “UPMC pharmacy consultants gave their clinical insights into what would operate the product a success, and engineers at UPMC Enterprises labored to bring the technique to lifestyles.”


The groups started microscopic, collaborating with make a choice clinics and hospitals to imprint out the payment and be determined gentle integration with contemporary processes and workflow.

“On the origin, the product used to be liable to toughen bringing medications to inpatients at our flagship effectively being facility, UPMC Presbyterian, and used to be like a flash expanded to extra sites following particular reception,” Heffernan recalled. “UPMC Pharmacy and UPMC Enterprises management then explored expansions to extra strategic exercise cases and populations, including staff and make a choice clinics.

“The platform used to be built as a standalone entity,” she persevered. “It leverages affected person data following enrollment within the provider. With this data, the platform generates and schedules automatic note-up from the virtual assistant chatbot.”

Patients receive automatic SMS or robocall messages to assess adherence and pride, and identify other barriers to filling prescriptions or factual exercise of medicines. When an venture is detected in accordance with affected person responses or there is bother reaching a affected person, a member of the pharmacy toughen crew made out of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians intervenes to unravel the venture at hand.


The tech-enabled platform has proven significant payment at UPMC.

“We’ve seen impacts in clinical outcomes, medication adherence, affected person pride and staff efficiency,” Heffernan reported. “Notably, we’ve seen a two-times enlarge in on-time replenish rates and a median of 80% of patients reporting pride with the program.

“The lengthy bustle is brilliant for these applied sciences to work along with patients on their terms.”

Rebecca Taylor, PharmD, UPMC

“We’re namely relaxed with the impact that this provider has had on readmissions,” she added. “A retrospective leer of bigger than 30,000 patients confirmed that those who engaged with the chatbot and repair had been 32% less more seemingly to skills a 7-day readmission and 16% less more seemingly to skills a 30-day readmission.”


Heffernan advises provider organizations initially a microscopic population or provider establish to imprint out the mannequin and be determined the technology is enabling the consequences one desires to manufacture while becoming into contemporary workflow.

“From there, building relationships with provider champions and continuous evaluate of alternate payment can attend to point out expansion channels,” she persevered.

Have it uncomplicated and accessible, Taylor told.

“The lengthy bustle is brilliant for these applied sciences to work along with patients on their terms,” she concluded. “I genuinely contain seen success in embedding applied sciences with the EHR in other organizations – so I would repeatedly attend protecting it as uncomplicated as seemingly for the affected person and their caregivers.”

Word Invoice’s HIT protection on LinkedIn: Invoice Siwicki

Email the creator: [email protected]

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