Monitoring medicine adherence

While the majority of people take the right medication at the right time, there are some occasions where patients with long-term conditions – such as epilepsy – can be lax about taking their medicines correctly. The extent to which a patient takes the medication they are prescribed is called medication adherence.

Poor adherence has been shown to negatively impact on healthcare outcomes and is not cost effective.

Pharmacy services have received funding from The Health Foundation, as part of its Advancing Applied Analytics Programme, to create a programme, the Medicines Adherence Visualisation Information System (MAVIS).

By December 2o2o MAVIS aims to provide clinicians in outpatient settings with estimates which will allow them to visualise individual medication histories and adherence patterns for their patients.

To achieve this, data analysts in the Pharmacy Services team will analyse nationally held digital prescription data from GP practices to estimate medication adherence, persistence and initiation, and explore medication histories.

This advanced analysis will result in measures and visualisations that can be incorporated into existing outpatient clinic systems and used during consultations. The project will employ a health psychologist to develop education and resources for prescribers on how to use these analytics to identify and discuss adherence issues, and work alongside patients to consider improvements and adherence support tools.

As well as helping hospital specialists to objectively identify and address adherence issues, this programme will provide data analysts with valuable experience to reinforce analytical capabilities for healthcare delivery.

Sean MacBride-Stewart, Lead for Prescribing Resources, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding award to develop and deliver this exciting innovation aimed at providing secondary care clinicians access to good quality medicines adherence data.

“We believe that this could make a real difference and will encourage clinicians and patients to work together to address issues relating to poor adherence.

“We expect this will help improve outcomes and optimise care, ensuring the best and most efficient use of medicines.”

Further information about the work of the Health Foundation can be found at