Prescription management system seen as adherence booster
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy aims to improve medication adherence with the rollout of ScriptPath, a new prescription management system for patients on multiple medicines.
CVS on Wednesday launched the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule, which pulls all of a patient’s CVS prescription information onto one document and employs icons designating the time of day and dosage for each medication in a patient’s regimen.
The tool is one piece of a three-part platform that includes a proprietary scientific engine, which generates the medication schedule, and a new prescription vial label set to deploy chainwide next year.
The information on the the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule includes which drugs the patient takes, when to take them and how much of each medication to take in each dose. Symbols on the icons indicate morning (rising sun), midday (full sun), evening (setting sun) and bedtime (moon).
Besides improving patient understanding of their drug regimens, the ScriptPath system is designed to enhance patient safety by showing how patients take medications and how caregivers give them, according to CVS.
“The research we’ve done suggests that 50% of patients report being confused about how and when to take their medications,” Kevin Hourican, executive vice president of pharmacy services at CVS Pharmacy, said in an interview. “So there’s a clear need here for medication organization.”
Offered in English and Spanish, the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is available now at all 7,900-plus CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide.
Patients taking more than five medications daily — numbering over 9 million at CVS — will be offered the schedule and an in-store consultation by the pharmacist when they pick up their prescriptions. In the consult, the pharmacist will review the prescription schedule and its information. For other patients, the schedule will be available in all CVS locations on request.
Hourican said CVS also is working on making the schedule available online and through the CVS Pharmacy mobile app.
The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule personalizes prescription information for individuals, including how much medication to take and when to take it. Medications are separated into sections for “Routine,” “As Needed” and “Other” medicines. Also included are clear refill instructions for simpler refills as well as a notes section for further personalization and to facilitate face-to-face pharmacist counseling.
Hourican said the ScriptPath prescription vial label is slated to become available at all CVS locations in early 2018.
The prescription label and instructions will feature color-coded icons with symbols designating when to take medications: yellow for morning (rising sun), orange for midday (full sun), blue for evening (setting sun) and purple for bedtime (moon). Dosage information also is indicated clearly on the icons. The labels, too, will have larger type for the patient’s name and the type of medication, and the instructions feature segmented information, including “Prescription Information,” “Receipt & Refill Information” and “Notes From Pharmacy.”
“We’ve proven through research that if you can decrease the number of times a day that patients take their medication, their adherence to that medication therapy meaningfully increases,” Hourican explained. “For example, if a person takes 10 medications across seven, eight or nine dosing times, the likelihood of the patient sticking with that regimen is very low. If we could decrease it to four, the likelihood of the patient being adherent goes way up.”
Powering the ScriptPath prescription management system is a CVS-developed, robust scientific engine that automatically reviews all of a patient’s CVS prescription data and prescribers’ instructions. Then, using clinical data, the engine provides a schedule of the most effective times of day to take the medications.
“The clinical engine that we’ve built is deeply rooted in the science of medicine and how patients interact with medication,” Hourican said. “It’s unique to us, and we spent quite a bit of time developing it. The engine understands the millions of combinations of medications, and it understands when to slot those medications for our patients.”
To help make ScriptPath easy for patients to read and understand, CVS Health partnered with designer Deborah Adler, known for her past work on Target’s ClearRx prescription packaging system. Adler, the inventor and lead designer of the ScriptPath system, worked with the CVS team to develop the intuitive icons and layout for each of the ScriptPath components.
Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Health, underscored the challenge facing patients with complex prescription regimens and how a solution like ScriptPath can help.
“By providing them with a clear and concise dosing schedule, which incorporates all of their current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions and reduces the number of times a patient takes medication each day, we can help improve medication adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes,” Brennan said in a statement.