Helping Patients Stay on Meds after Leaving Hospital — Veterans Health Administration

A recent VA study revealed that heart patients are much more likely to take their medications if they receive personalized attention from their caregivers, such as a reminder call, after leaving the hospital.

by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Did you know that up to 50 percent of heart patients fail to take their medications correctly after they leave the hospital?

It’s a disturbing number, but VA may have found a potential solution to the problem.

“The fact is, when your pharmacist calls you and reminds you to take your meds, you’re more likely to take your meds,” said Dr. Michael Ho, a researcher at the Denver VA Medical Center.

The Bottom Line

Ho’s recent study on the topic incorporated several interventions, including patient education, collaboration between pharmacists and primary care providers, medication reconciliation, and automated telephone reminder calls.

“The bottom line is this: you need to continue to engage your patients in their care once they leave the hospital,” the researcher said. “This includes calling them at home and reminding them to take their pills…”

Ho, whose study on this topic appears in the November 18, 2013 issue…

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