Automated EMR alerts improve medication adherence, study finds

For patients with either cardiovascular disease or diabetes, EMR-linked automated reminder interventions may help improve medication adherence compared to usual care, according to a study in American Journal of Managed Care.

Researchers conducted the study at three regions of the Kaiser Permanente health plan — Northwest, Hawaii and Georgia — with more than 21,000 adult participants. The participants who received the intervention received automated phone calls when they were due or overdue for a prescription refill. The calls were prompted by the EMR.

Additionally, some participants in the intervention study also received a pamphlet explaining the calls.

Researchers found statin adherence for patients with cardiovascular disease who received the intervention was 2.2 percentage points higher than for those who received usual care.

Additionally, adherence to ACEI/ARB for patients with diabetes who received the intervention was 1.6 percentage points higher than for those who received usual care.

Researchers suggest such EMR-linked automated reminder interventions may be a low-cost strategy to improve medication adherence for patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

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