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by Sarah Toy-Ding | Tiffany Shields
Published on July 9, 2019

The U.S. loses 125,000 people a year because they don’t take their medicine as prescribed, and it’s costing the country up to $300 billion a year. — Tiffany Shields, @commonspirit

Patients not taking their medicine as prescribed, or medication non-adherence, is a complex problem in health care. While about 60 percent of American adults take at least one daily medicine, it’s estimated that three out of four Americans don’t take their medicine as directed.

In this episode, we’re joined by Sarah Toy-Ding and Tiffany Shields, enterprise clinical informaticists at CommonSpirit Health in Chicago – a system of hospitals and other care centers covering 21 states.

Sarah and Tiffany answer questions below about how their organization used a Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies (SMART) health IT app on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR- pronounced FIRE) within the electronic health record (EHR) to support patients taking their medicine as prescribed.

  • Why don’t patients take their medicine as prescribed, and how does this impact health care at large?
  • Why did CommonSpirit Health decide to tackle the challenge of medication non-adherence by integrating an app into the EHR using SMART on FHIR?
  • How did CommonSpirit develop its strategy for creating the most accurate lists of medications each patient is taking and building a discharge dashboard? How is it impacting patient outcomes?
  • What was it like to go through this process? Based on your experience, what advice would you give other health care organizations that are considering leveraging SMART on FHIR apps to help patients take their medicine as prescribed?
  • What’s the next step in your medication adherence strategy? What do you think is the future-state of medication adherence in the health care industry?

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