The concept is very simple, according to the world health organisation - the more a patient knows about their medicine, the more likely they are to continue taking their prescribed treatment correctly. The benefits to patients who do increase their knowledge of their medicines is well documented and include:
So, in effect, health literacy is a crucial factor not only in improving patient’s overall health but also saves critical resources for the Health service and ultimately the taxpayer.
We have developed a new evidence based health literacy service which our patients access once their prescription has been dispensed. We redesigned the prescription journey to incorporate a “new step” in the dispensing of prescription medicines. This new step is carried out at our newly installed - Patient Medicine Consultation Suite. The service was developed following a 6-month longitudinal study in 2015-2016 we carried out at our pharmacy as part of an MBA thesis, on the relationship between increasing a patient’s knowledge of their medicines and any corresponding improvement in the patient’s medicine compliance.
It was necessary to develop the patient medicine consultation system in order to carry out our study. Today, the pharmacist-patient consultation is endless, when the patient leaves the pharmacy, the consultation continues and this unique service is facilitated via our telemedicine system. The results of our study in 2016 showed an increase in our patient’s medicine compliance by 63% and also the Pharmacist - Patient medicine consultations rose to 100%. And most importantly of all, our new service is evidence based. we have done the studies, we know it works, and our results are being published in an academic journal in the coming months, the Journal of Public Health in the UK.
Your health really is your wealth and you must look after it. We are supporting our patients in self-management of their health. We are the first Pharmacy in Ireland to successfully tackle medicine adherence with an evidence based system, which increases our patients knowledge and understanding of their medicines.
What we found in our study was that by increasing a patients knowledge of their medicines, their adherence also increased. This has a positive impact on improving health outcomes for patients and lowering unnecessary healthcare costs for both the patient and the state.
The benefits of our new service include: