UPMC takes on medication nonadherence, accomplishes huge scientific and monetary ROI

The issue of medication nonadherence is well recorded. In the United States. Almost30% of all prescriptions are never ever gotten at the drug store, and an approximated 18 million individuals are not able to manage their medications


Studies have actually revealed that prescriptions with copays of $50 and above are almost 4 times most likely to be deserted than those with less expense expenses.

Further, almost 16% of medical facility readmissions are driven by medication-related issues, with almost 40% of those being possibly avoidable.

UPMC was searching for imaginative techniques to take on issues associated with both medication adherence and readmissions, while leveraging the scientific strengths of its drug stores and improving operations.

” Patient-centered care focuses on user friendly services and making a connection that is simple for them,” stated Rebecca Taylor, PharmD, senior director of drug store at UPMC. “We desired something that was basic and available to the majority of the population.

” It is approximated that more than 90% of the population has access to a phone for text messaging, so we understood utilizing that opportunity might be a possible service,” she included.


UPMC Enterprises constructed an innovation suite and released it throughout the UPMC Health System. It’s a client management platform for drug store that determines and focuses on clients who may be at threat of nonadherence.

From there, an AI-driven virtual assistant connects to clients by means of SMS to engage them throughout their medication journey (prior to first-fill, in between fills, fill up assistance and beyond). Just recently, health IT supplier Arrive Health acquired the UPMC-developed drug store innovation.

” UPMC drug store professionals offered their scientific insights into what would make the item effective, and engineers at UPMC Enterprises worked to bring the option to life.”

Kathryn Heffernan, UPMC Enterprises

” UPMC’s Retail Pharmacy network partnered with UPMC Enterprises, the development and commercialization arm of UPMC, in looking for technology-enabled services to resolve a few of these issues,” stated Kathryn Heffernan, director of item management at UPMC Enterprises.

” The groups teamed up on more comprehending the issue, competitive landscape and possible worth of a service prior to deciding to construct out a minimum practical item of the drug store management platform and matching chatbot to pilot,” she continued. “UPMC drug store specialists offered their scientific insights into what would make the item effective, and engineers at UPMC Enterprises worked to bring the option to life.”


The groups began little, teaming up with choose centers and healthcare facilities to show out the worth and guarantee smooth combination with existing procedures and workflow.

” Initially, the item was utilized to support bringing medications to inpatients at our flagship health center, UPMC Presbyterian, and was rapidly broadened to extra websites following favorable reception,” Heffernan remembered. “UPMC Pharmacy and UPMC Enterprises management then checked out growths to extra tactical usage cases and populations, consisting of workers and choose centers.

” The platform was constructed as a standalone entity,” she continued. “It leverages client information following registration in the service. With this information, the platform produces and schedules automated follow-up from the virtual assistant chatbot.”

Patients get automated SMS or robocall messages to examine adherence and fulfillment, and determine other barriers to filling prescriptions or appropriate usage of medications. When a concern is found based upon client reactions or there is problem reaching a client, a member of the drug store assistance group consisted of pharmacists and drug store specialists steps in to solve the problem at hand.


The tech-enabled platform has actually shown substantial worth at UPMC.

” We’ve seen effects in scientific results, medication adherence, client fulfillment and personnel effectiveness,” Heffernan reported. “Notably, we’ve seen a two-times boost in on-time refill rates and approximately 80% of clients reporting fulfillment with the program.

” The future is brilliant for these innovations to connect with clients on their terms.”

Rebecca Taylor, PharmD, UPMC

” We are especially happy with the effect that this service has actually had on readmissions,” she included. “A retrospective research study of more than 30,000 clients revealed that those who engaged with the chatbot and service were 32% less most likely to experience a 7-day readmission and 16% less most likely to experience a 30- day readmission.”


Heffernan encourages company companies to begin with a little population or supplier website to show out the design and guarantee the innovation is making it possible for the outcomes one wishes to attain while fitting into existing workflow.

” From there, constructing relationships with company champs and constant evaluation of organization worth can assist to notify growth channels,” she continued.

Keep it easy and available, Taylor encouraged.

” The future is brilliant for these innovations to connect with clients on their terms,” she concluded. “I have actually seen success in embedding innovations with the EHR in other companies– so I would constantly motivate keeping it as basic as possible for the client and their caretakers.”

Follow Bill’s HIT protection on LinkedIn: Bill Siwicki

Email the author: bsiwicki@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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