MedsOnCue: A pharmacy tool to help patients with medication adherence

May 10, 2014

A brief video, accessed by prescription label QR code scanned with a smartphone, instructs patients in proper drug use and much more.

Medication adherence is a challenge for some patients and may be especially difficult for individuals with low or limited literacy. To help bridge the health literacy gap, VUCA Health has developed MedsOnCue, a tool designed to help pharmacies inform patients about their medications, connect them to the pharmacy, and provide medication reminders.

MedsOnCue offers up-to-date medication information in the form of a 60- to 90-second video, accessed from a QR code on a prescription label. Patients scan the QR code with their smart phones and watch a short message describing the medication, dosage, and frequency; different indications for the medication; and the most common side effects. The video also includes encouragement for patients to help them manage side effects and stay on their drug regimens. And it instructs patients to contact their physicians or pharmacists if side effects become bothersome.

“Every video ends with what we call the best results. For example, if you are talking about Toprolol, be sure to abide by the diet and exercise program that your doctor has given you and monitor your own blood pressure,” said VUCA Health CEO David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, who launched MedsOnCue about nine months ago.

 

Calls to action

The video also has three calls to action keyed to the following clickable buttons:     

  • Connect Me: The patient or family member can be connected directly to the pharmacy that filled the prescription or to a clinical call center and ask additional questions.

  • Remind Me: The patient can receive reminders to take the medication at specific times during the day and also can receive refill reminders. Reminders can be text messages or e-mails.

  • Inform Me: Patients who want more information about the medication or condition can be directed to an online monograph or even to videos that demonstrate a special administration technique. Patients can also see a photo image of their medication.

MedsOnCue is integrated with various pharmacy management systems and used by about 200 independent pharmacies in 31 states, Medvedeff said.

 

Discharge meds

“In the last eight weeks, we’ve seen quite a bit of traction in the hospital outpatient pharmacy space,” Medvedeff said. “If you think about discharge medications, these patients now have access to this content, and it links them back to the health system. When you think about readmission rates, the need for medication adherence, and the pressures around patient experience, MedsOnCue provides a nice service that supports the pharmacy operation and the hospital as well.”

At Meridian Health's Ocean Medical Center, an acute care hospital in Brick, N.J., the pharmacy recently added MedsOnCue for its employees and discharged patients; it is now a bigger and more important part of its business, according to Bob Schenk, RPh, manager of Meridian Ambulatory Pharmacy Services.

“We are trying everything to improve healthcare outcomes, decrease readmissions, and increase patient satisfaction,” Schenk said. “Obviously, the day of discharge can be very hectic for a patient. Frequently they are going home on meds that are different from what they came in on, and they can be overwhelmed with information.”

The pharmacy discharge liason at Ocean Medical Center demonstrates the video technology and shows patients how easily they can access the MedsOnCue videos from home. Patients’ response has been one of amazement.

 

Softer approach

“My expectation is that this product will augment our existing information sources. The videos can help patients access the most important information about their meds in a convenient and concise format that is easily understandable and available in two languages,” Schenk said.

This product is available in English and Spanish, and includes content for approximately 85% of the medications that are dispensed. VUCA Health’s video library consists of 2,300 medication videos, and the company is continuing to add more for the 15% not yet part of the library.

“So much of the information that we share today is too complicated and sophisticated for the average person to understand,” Medvedeff said. “We try to take a little softer approach. We try to get people actionable information and direct them to see more.”

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/medsoncue.