The Top Barrier to Medication Adherence: Time Management

This is the final installment of our “Top Six Barriers to Medication Adherence” blog series. Read our introductory blog post, the article on cost and financial concerns, the post on side effects, the article on motivational gaps, the discussion on provider-related issues, or read how knowledge gaps impact medication adherence.

The most frequent reason given for not taking medication properly is poor time management. Many distractions get in the way of taking medications as prescribed. Forgetfulness, lack of a medication-taking routine, competing priorities, complex medication regimens, no pill box or medication planner, or a busy schedule can complicate managing medications.

There are a number of tools and resources available to help people overcome these hurdles to medication adherence. If time management is determined to be the primary cause for medication nonadherence, Health Dialog’s specially trained Care Navigators may suggest the following:

  • Calendar or Chart: A simple medication adherence calendar or chart can help individuals plan and track their medication
  • Pill Box: A pill box provides an inexpensive way to organize and track medications on a daily or weekly basis 
  • Reminder Apps: There are a number of apps available on smartphones that can be used to remind patients or their caregivers when it’s time to take a medication, such as OnTimeRX, Care4Today, Dosecast or MyMedSchedule
  • Predictive Refill Programs: Pharmacies may offer automated refills, medication refill synchronization, refill reminders or other pharmacy based adherence tools
  • Compliance Packaging: Unit dosing, blister packaging, and multiple-unit dose packs or pouches all help to accurately organize medications for easy patient handling and management
  • Automatic Pill-Dispensing Device: These devices can help patients with complex medication schedules who don’t have the assistance of a caregiver

Overcoming Medication Nonadherence

As this series has shown, there are a variety of reasons why a person may not be adherent to their medication. Personalized engagement and education, which enables individuals to become active participants in the development of their treatment plan, can help overcome these various obstacles. Health Dialog’s Care Navigators positively support members’ medication-taking behavior by educating them on the benefits of proper medication use, creating a blame-free environment for discussion and empowering them to take medication as prescribed. At each interaction, Care Navigators:

  • Assess and address reasons for nonadherence
  • Identify and support members in overcoming barriers to adherence
  • Encourage patient-provider-pharmacist communication
  • Educate members on the appropriate use and importance of taking medication as prescribed

Additionally, for people utilizing Rite Aid pharmacies, we offer direct enrollment in programs that support improved adherence.

This approach helps to identify a person’s particular barrier, whether it’s costs, side effects, motivation, provider issues, knowledge gaps or time management, and develop a plan to overcome the specific issue. By taking down adherence barriers, members improve their medication adherence, which can improve their whole-being health and reduce costs caused from unnecessary healthcare complications.

Topics: Trends & Insights, Medication Adherence

Receive Insights in your Inbox




the full series on the
"Top Six Barriers to Medication Adherence,"
download our e-book.
Med Adherence E-Book Image