Friday, January 13, 2023

A New Point-of-Prescribing Solution to Help Increase Prescribing Accuracy, Speed to Therapy and Patient Adherence

Today’s guest post comes from Clay Courville, Chief Product Officer at CoverMyMeds.

Clay discusses the ongoing problem of medication errors. He describes CoverMyMeds’ provider alerts solution, which is designed to minimize medication errors. Click here to learn more about CoverMyMeds’ Provider Medication Alerts solution.

Read on for Clay’s insights.

A New Point-of-Prescribing Solution to Help Increase Prescribing Accuracy, Speed to Therapy and Patient Adherence
By Clay Courville, Chief Product Officer, CoverMyMeds

What if assisting providers with common prescribing details for medications could limit medication errors and reduce unnecessary administrative work? The answer could be as simple as surfacing key messaging at critical points in the provider workflow—and the results as significant as getting patients on therapy faster.

More than 20 years ago, when the patient safety movement began, reducing medical errors was a top priority for the healthcare industry. Today, enough progress has been made that some feel patient harm from these errors, while still a serious concern, is no longer inevitable.

Campaigns from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) and efforts such as the “five rights” of medication administration and the use of bar codes on medication, have been effective.

Still, work remains. Every year, 7,000 to 9,000 Americans die from medication errors, specifically, and as patients continue to participate in and take control of their own healthcare, more dynamic solutions will be needed to prevent or address these types of errors at multiple touchpoints, whether clinical or in the home.

We have a head start. Our new solution, Provider Medication Alerts (PMA), could increase prescribing accuracy at the point of prescribing, reduce unnecessary administrative work and help with patient medication adherence. By surfacing key messaging at critical points in the provider workflow, the results, to start with, could be as significant as getting patients on therapy faster.


Medication errors can happen anywhere, from the time the medication is prescribed to when the patient takes the treatment. And the reasons for these errors can be diverse and difficult to track. They can occur due to a mistake by the doctor prescribing the medication, the nurse administering it, the pharmacist dispensing it or the patient taking it.

On the clinical side, medication errors can occur due to issues such as failing to communicate drug orders, choosing the wrong drug selection from a drop-down menu or listing inaccurate dosing units or weight. But most often, the failures are due to “a flawed system with inadequate backup to detect mistakes.”

During one of our standard reviews to find more meaningful value at the point of prescribing, we found a way to address this, at least in part. Some medication errors, we found, could be tied to specific pharma brands, and due to our unique position at the center of the healthcare ecosystem, we saw an opportunity.

By connecting pharma messaging with providers at the point of prescribing, a bridge is built. Now, whether at the point of prescribing in the EHR workflow or during a prior authorization initiation, we can provide customized provider engagement. With a more-tailored solution—one that’s complementary to real-time pharmacy benefit technology—providers could access key pharma messaging in-workflow.

Imagine a proactive, actionable brand-specific message flagging when a dosage or quantity is entered incorrectly within an EHR. Take titration, specifically. For patients taking titratable continuous infusions, which are particularly prone to errors, identifying errors in real-time could be a literal lifesaver.

Technology could also alert care teams of new indications in the market for a particular drug or with national drug code (NDC) updates. With the FDA currently considering reformatting their NDC numbers, this feature could be especially beneficial soon.

Another real-life example includes when a prescription will be delayed or isn’t available at the chosen pharmacy. Some medications are only available at select pharmacies due to limited distribution networks, so with this solution an alert could let the provider know before the patient leaves their office. The patient saves a potentially empty-handed trip to the pharmacy and further access delays.

Speaking of patients, they have a role to play, too. Currently, a common and preventable cause of medication errors is patients not understanding how to take their medications correctly. Without proper education, they may skip doses, take too much or too little of the medication or stop taking the medication altogether.

Our technology has that covered, too. Vital educational messaging about the medication could be easily shared with the provider—and thus, the patient—through their EHR, potentially combatting adherence challenges with health literacy. All of this without having to depend on in-office field-rep conversations.

For pharma, existing integrations also mean this technology could scale the CoverMyMeds provider network immediately. And perhaps most attractive to providers is the fact that these messages are distributed dynamically, only when it’s useful or valuable.

No more spam, pop-ups or triggering banner ads in EHR systems. No more alert fatigue. Just the right message at the right time to the right audience. And with an ever-evolving healthcare landscape and diverse patient journeys, this type of innovative solution could be just the prescription for what the future holds.

Find out how CoverMyMeds is clearing the path for patients with solutions like Provider Medication Alerts.

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