LAKE MARY, Fla. – Educational videos delivered via text message significantly improve patient adherence to newly prescribed medications, according to a new study by VUCA Health, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), and Liberty Software. Results of the study will be presented at the American Public Health Association’s Virtual Annual Meeting and Expo on October 27.
Primary medication nonadherence (PMN) occurs when a new medication is prescribed, but the patient does not obtain the medication, or an appropriate alternative, within an acceptable time period. Up to 30% of prescriptions are not picked up from the pharmacy by patients taking a new medication.
As pharmacies and other health care organizations work to improve adherence with digital engagement tools like text messaging or voice devices, they must consider the content delivered through these messaging platforms and its impact on outcomes.
In the study, patients received a text message with a video about their newly prescribed medication. The videos included educational information about the patient’s prescription, including why it is important to take and potential side effects. The study found a statistically significant improvement of PMN in patients who received a video versus those who did not.
“One of the contributing factors to poor adherence and patients not taking their medications as prescribed is low health literacy,” Richard Waithe, president of VUCA Health, said. “The results of this study and positive impact on PMN strengthens our belief that patient-friendly video content is an essential piece of the puzzle for effective patient engagement and improving outcomes.”
“This study reinforces our belief that innovative technology can have a huge impact on patient care in pharmacies.” Jeremy Manchester, Executive Vice President of Liberty Software, said. “What is really exciting here is that the text messages were automatically triggered so these positive results were achieved without increasing the pharmacists’ workload.”
“This collaborative initiative is part of PQA’s growing medication access research portfolio,” Patrick Campbell, PQA’s senior director of research, said. “The positive impact of these educational videos on primary medication nonadherence rates underscores the importance of health literacy in the patient’s medication access journey.”
The study analyzed 6,311 newly initiated prescriptions for 4,038 patients from September 2018 to January 2019. Data from March 2018 to February 2019 were used to account for a 180-day lookback period and a 5-month assessment period.