Technology is assisting doctors in the identification of patients that fail to take their medications. It is also giving the providers of health-care increased opportunities to improve the compliance of patients. Patients that do not pick up or refill needed medications are being flagged by an electronic prescribing system linked to medical records and a digitized pharmacy at Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently published a study showing that the number of patients actually utilizing their medications was higher in an integrated system of health care than in a non-integrated system. The prescriptions for things such as cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure are collected more often in this environment. It was suggested that those providing health care should link the orders directly to the prescriptions that were dispensed in an effort to identify patients that were not obtaining their prescriptions as directed.