Most readers of this blog probably have a cell phone and either use the text messaging feature or at the very least know of text messaging. Now imagine that through that same service you could be reminded to take your daily or weekly medication. Odds are probably fairly good that it would be a helpful reminder.
A study published in the May issue of Clinical Therapeutics found that patients receiving text message reminders had a medication adherence rate of 85 percent versus a medication adherence rate of 77 percent for those who did not. The study of 580 individuals was the first large-scale study in the United States to see if a text message program with medication-specific reminders would increase adherence. Past studies often had fewer than 100 participants and had a tighter focus on what the patients suffered from.
"This research provides strong evidence that technology can play a vital role in improving medication adherence, even among older patients," said Brian Solow, M.D., chief medical officer of OptumRx. "This is of great importance to all stakeholders in healthcare because poor medication adherence can lead to inferior treatment outcomes, higher hospitalization rates and increased healthcare costs."
Lead author of the study, Kalee Foreman, added that a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that "nearly 70 percent of medication-related hospital admissions in the United States are due to poor medication adherence, costing the healthcare system roughly $100 billion per year."
Not only can text messaging help physicians stay in contact with their patients, but it can help businesses stay in touch with their clients. While this study proved what a text messaging adherence program can do for healthcare, using a professional answering service could impact a company in much the same way. By being able to stay in constant contact with clients through quality customer service, businesses could ensure their customers most important needs are met.