West Lothian Council use medication adherence as a daily cognitive tool to proactively improve care in the community.
Prevention and promoting wellbeing is widely recognized within health and social care to have the potential to reduce the demand for services and improve the outcomes of people who need care and support. Since March, care professionals in West Lothian Council have been using YOURmeds a revolutionary smart medication management system to significantly improve medication adherence and compliance to over 80%. The technology has also allowed the council promote independence and provide support during lockdown while maintaining a person centred approach in line with Health and Social Care Standards. Put simply, West Lothian Council wanted to explore new ways of providing essential support services to vulnerable adults and their families.
With fewer than 1 in 2 people taking their medication correctly (NHS estimates), helping people to improving adherence and compliance saves thousands of pounds which can be redirected to providing better care for those who need it most. Empowering people to take control of their medication helps to increase their independence and reduce the number of care visits required for patients – particularly important during the global pandemic.
Angela Spink, Support at Home Team manager for West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership explains: “2020 has certainly been a unique and challenging year as we’ve had to adapt to Coronavirus whilst still providing exceptional levels of care for people in the community. As such, we’ve looked at ways in which technology can provide a supporting role - the requirement to adapt and use innovative new technologies this year has been more important than ever. YOURmeds has been one of those technology solutions that we’ve piloted with a small number of patients and we’ve been very pleased with the results it has delivered.
Medication adherence and compliance is a complex issue for care providers and the NHS. People failing to take their medication correctly can have a domino effect on their health and wellbeingand often leads to bigger issues such as falls, sickness and rapid deterioration.
“YOURmeds has become an invaluable tool in our care armoury. Firstly, it works as an assessment tool to see what package of care a service user needs. We can very quickly see whether someone needs additional care and home visits to support them with their medication or if the YOURmeds solution is sufficient. Many of our patients are independent and don’t want several visits a day from a health care professional to check they’ve taken their medicine - YOURmeds provides them with that freedom. It also allows us to divert that vital package of care, sometimes up to four visits a day, to other people within the community who need it more helping to save West Lothian council up to of £6,000 per person.”
West Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership has saved £9 for every £1 spent on YOURmeds in direct savings from reductions in medication visits but that isn’t the only benefit to introducing YOURmeds.
“The monitoring that the service provides and the data we receive as a result can very quickly help us correlate any patterns of lack of compliance and adherence, to deterioration in patient health. One user had been sounding multi-blister alerts and showed deterioration on visits. This allowed us to act quickly with their GP and NHS 24 to identify issues and put into place a new package of care. This wouldn’t have been possible without being evidenced by YOURmeds.
“Another user had episodes of being unwell and upon investigating the data linked to their medication, we could see clear patterns of the user not taking their meds. This data allowed us to further investigate the underlying causes along with the GP and wider reablement team allowing this user to continue living independently.
“In another case, a user’s daughter was anxious that they wouldn’t be able to check in with their mother as they shielded from Covid 19 and her health may deteriorate. YOURmeds replaced the need for the daughter to visit, reducing contact during a critical time and perhaps just as significantly, provided the daughter with peace of mind as she could see that her mum was taking her dementia medication.”
“We quickly realised how powerful the data that YOURmeds collects is. Not just for encouraging and prompting users to take their medication at the right times, but also as a vital assessment tool for delivering better care in the community.”
Dr Nitin Parekh, YOURmeds Managing director said: “We’ve seen fantastic results come through from West Lothian. Seeing medicine adherence and compliance at around 83% will have a marked improvement on the long-term effectiveness of a patient’s meds and general health. Whilst it’s great to see cost savings, perhaps the more impressive result has been the ability to use the data gathered to further improve patient health, quickly assessing and identifying issues and responding to them with an appropriate package of care.”
Angela continued: “We’ve been very impressed with the early results YOURmeds has delivered and our plan is to gradually role YOURmeds out further into the community. It’s great to see that more pharmacies are stocking the med packs locally which makes it easier to distribute. It’s fast becoming a key tool for both assessment and improving patient care whilst saving costs and diverting care where it’s needed most.”