Research shows us: Of every 100 prescribed medicines, 88% are actually filled, 76% are started, and less than half – only 47% – are continued;1 physician contact and provider continuity are important determinants of long-term medication adherence;and adherence is higher (81.3% on average) among patients who see the same healthcare provider at each appointment.It’s no secret that provider-patient relationships are integral to improving medication adherence, yet physicians are often hindered in this process. They lack real-time patient information, resources, and education about what medication adherence tools are available. 

Health plans can help physicians overcome these barriers with a collaborative, strategic approach including six key elements outlined below.


1. Clinical Champions

Identify physician champions who understand and can speak to the value of the medication adherence program. To be effective, these champions must be influencers among their peers.

2. Shared Vision

As the program begins, goals, responsibilities, benefits and program details, must be made available to everyone in the program. The success of the program relies heavily on the collaborative buy-in and understanding of everyone involved.

3. Clear CTAs

It’s critical to establish calls to action that are achievable in size and familiar in nature. This makes the process manageable and keeps physicians from feeling overwhelmed.

4. Barrier documentation

Patient barriers to adherence will become clear and should be catalogued so trends and tactical approaches can be identified.

5. Bold outreach

The relationship between care coordinators and patients must be cultivated over time to lead to a more assertive, more effective approach. This creates stronger patient accountability and greater adherence.

6. Collaborative resource offerings

Many providers will need partnerships with health plans to create the shared pool of tools and resources needed to build successful medication adherence programs. In these cases, extending the capabilities of the practice via the health plan broadens outreach and encourages program effectiveness.

Enhanced Care, Real Return on Investment

Medication adherence can be difficult for health plans and providers to take on alone, even in the best of circumstances. That’s why it’s important to know that the strategies we’re talking about aren’t just for any one group. To be successful, healthcare organizations must work together to engage physicians, creating a sustainable model of care that harnesses the power of technology-driven data. This allows physicians to take a greater, better-supported role in managing medication adherence, benefiting patients, physicians and everyone involved in the patient care continuum.

Activating physicians in medication adherence programs requires advanced technology and thoughtful collaboration. For a detailed, step-by-step guide, read our whitepaper: Best Practices from the Front Lines.



2 Brookhart 2007, Arch Intern Med

3 “Medication Adherence in America: A National Report Card”, National Community Pharmacists Association