Nov 11 2021

Florida Pharmacy Sees Adherence Improvement with Catalyst AdhereNet™/Pack4U Solution

It's a story pharmacists know well.

An elderly patient with  more than a dozen prescriptions can't keep up and becomes non-adherent. Before long, the patient is hospitalized. The patient is eventually released, but with no clear plan to manage those medications, is at risk for the situation repeating itself. For too many patients, this leads to a loss of independence, and admission to a long-term care facility.

Except when Florida pharmacist AJ Patel tells the story, it has a much happier ending.

Patel is the pharmacy operations manager at Blake Pharmacy in New Port Richey, FL. Blake's is a specialty pharmacy, and Patel's patients include many elderly individuals who are afflicted with chronic conditions including Parkinson's and Huntington diseases.

"It can be very, very difficult helping these patients manage their medications," Patel says, noting that despite regular phone calls, emails and texts from pharmacy staff members, patients too often become non-adherent.

When Patel learned about a new technology solution designed to improve patient adherence, he jumped on the chance to participate in the pilot program. The solution consists of three separate pieces:

  1. An in-home medication dispenser, aptly named "Spencer," developed by AdhereNet™, a unit of Catalyst Healthcare.
  2. Customized packaging and delivery solutions offered by Pack4U.
  3. The PrimeRx™ management system, which allows pharmacies to directly integrate with these interfaces, and operate the solution from within the pharmacy's main operating system.

Since the AdhereNet™/Pack4U solution is in the pilot phase, Patel realized there was no guarantee of success. But given his strong desire to help patients manage their medications, Patel was pleased to give the innovative idea a try.

The first step was to identify "at risk" patients and get their agreement to participate. This was a relatively simple task, since PrimeRx™ allows pharmacists to easily identify patients with multiple medications who either are non-adherent or have a high likelihood of allowing their medications to lapse. Once a group of patients was identified, Patel contacted each to discuss the potential of the AdhereNet™/Pack4U solution. These contacts were made via phone or through the PrimeRx™ system's email capabilities.

Patel quickly got the buy-in he needed to proceed. In total, 19 Blake Pharmacy patients were on board to participate in the pilot. Once Patel gave the green light, the solution unfolded seamlessly, with several easy steps that included:

  • Blake Pharmacy integrated with Catalyst AdhereNet™ and Pack4U directly within PrimeRx™ and was able ti easily access the required software.
  • AdhereNet™ technicians provided comprehensive training to Blake Pharmacy staff.
  • Home medication dispensers, called "Spencers," were delivered to each patient's home.
  • Each patient – or a designated family member – was encouraged to downloaded the AdhereNet™ mobile app, as a way to rack their medications.
  • Pharmacy staff created a file consisting of comprehensive medication records for each patient. That file was transmitted to AdhereNet™ and Pack4U.
  • Medications are filled at one of Pack4U's dispensing facilities. Medications are placed in packaging designed specifically for use with Spencer and delivered to the pharmacy. Medications are packaged based on each patient's unique dosage and frequency needs.
  • Patients are notified – both through PrimeRx™ and via the mobile app – that their medications are available for pickup.
  • The new medications are loaded into Spencer, and the patient is alerted each time a medication is due. The patient removes the medication from Spencer, and the system records each movement.
  • All records are seamlessly recorded within PrimeRx™, including updates to each patient's prescription record.

"It's a wonderful solution," Patel says. "We've seen a marked improvement in adherence among our 19 participating patients, mostly because the solution makes it so easy." And yes, once the pilot phase concludes, Patel plans to continue offering the Spencer option to his patients.

Not only has the AdhereNet™/Pack4U solution helped improved adherence among patients, but the pharmacy itself has benefited. Patel says it's much easier to manage medications and refills, and much faster. "The system isn't complicated," he says. "It's very user-friendly and takes just a few clicks."

Catalyst AdhereNet™/Pack4U is one of dozens of third-party integrations available to PrimeRx™ users. To  learn more about this and other interface solutions, please click here for direct access to a Micro Merchant Systems technician.