Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Jack Rivetti



It is widely known that patient adherence can be a major contributing factor in poor outcomes. Many factors come into play in patient adherence, including but not limited to side effects of medications, medication cost, effective communication of the health care provider and the patient’s ability to understand his or her own disease state and recommended treatment plan.

Purpose: I would like to review the best available evidence that supports whether these programs are effective at keeping patients compliant, thus improving outcomes.

Evidence Acquisition: This is a literature review of current, peer reviewed articles and books ranging from 2005 through the present.

Results: It is estimated that non-adherence to medication instructions is responsible for up to 125,000 deaths and 10% of admission to a hospital facility annually. It is also estimated that it costs the healthcare industry up to $300 billion in avoidable costs per year and the pharmaceutical industry an estimated $637 billion in revenue annually. In the literature reviewed it is evident that patient adherence programs led to better patient understanding of their disease state and improved adherence to medication regimens which led to better clinical outcomes.

Conclusion: Patient adherence programs are effective at leading to better clinical outcomes by a variety of methods and are helpful to busy practitioners who are under increased pressure to see more patients in less time which can often lead to rushed explanations of medical regimens. Patients have different levels of understanding and some may need things explained several times and in different ways prior to grasping the concept. This is where adherence programs can truly help bridge the gap that currently exists for many patients.


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