Power to the Patient

  • by: |
  • 11/02/2012

While many on the East Coast are thinking about electrical power, a new global study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics shows that the use of healthcare IT to increase medication adherence could be a key factor in saving some $500 billion in healthcare spending worldwide -- and that a key factor is the power of information.

“Harnessing available information to set priorities, monitor progress and support behavior change among healthcare stakeholders – including policymakers, payers, clinicians, nurses, pharmacists and patients – is a vital first step,” he said.

Aitken said the increasing use of data in healthcare makes this a good time to apply the levers suggested by the study to lower healthcare costs, which are:

  • Increase medicine adherence by addressing patient beliefs and behaviors at the point of prescription and during medicine intake.
  • Ensure timely medicine use that prevents avoidable and costly consequences among patients with highly prevalent diseases that increase in severity if diagnosis and treatment are delayed.
  • Optimize antibiotic use to turn the tide on rising antimicrobial resistance worldwide due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics.
  • Prevent medication errors throughout the medicine provision pathway, from prescription to administration.
  • Use low-cost and safe generic drugs where available to leverage the under-exploited opportunity in post-patent expiry markets.
  • Manage polypharmacy where the concurrent use of multiple medicines, particularly among the elderly, risks costly complications and adverse events.

“Not all of this is new. Adherence is not new,” he added. What is new, however, is the ability to use data and predictive modeling to find which patients best respond to what type of medication adherence reminders, he said. Some need a visit from a nurse, which is more costly than using a text or a tweet. Predictive modeling can help an organization use resources wisely to get the most adherence from patients.

The study also focuses on two key factors critical to driving improvement across the six levers: multi-stakeholder engagement and … the power of information.

Knowledge is Power.

The study can be found here.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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