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High-tech help for people who don’t take their medicine

The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2011

Technology is helping to identify patients who don't take their medications -- and giving health-care providers new opportunities to improve adherence, today's Informed Patient column reports. At Kaiser Permanente Colorado, an electronic prescribing system linked to digitized pharmacy and medical records flags patients who don't pick up or refill needed drugs. In a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the large nonprofit health system reported that patients who get care in such integrated health care systems more often collect their new prescriptions for diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure medications than do people who receive care in a non-integrated system. The study recommended that health care providers directly link orders with dispensed prescriptions to identify non-adherent patients.