I was excited to see packaging being employed in a pilot program involving transitional care. We reported in our daily newsletter that Cleveland Clinic will be using Arcadia’s DailyMed program to see whether it can reduce readmissions and improve the health status of discharged patients. According to the report, DailyMed will provide patients transitioning to home care with “medication reconciliation, the DailyMed compliance packaging dispensing program and medication therapy management assessments all targeted at improving patient outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions.”
I spoke to Charlie Goodall, executive vice president of DailyMed, to find out more about the use of packaging. He explained that DailyMed is a closed-door pharmacy using central-fill operations to provide 28-day maintentance prescriptions for patients taking four or more prescriptions. “Our goal is to keep people at home, for longer. We feel that our care, which includes calling patients to refill their prescriptions and to discuss them, is superior for those patients on multiple medications.”
DailyMed packages solid-oral dosages together in pouches, coupling them with any other formats such as inhalers, ointments, etc., and provides them in one box. “They are packaged into multidose pouches marked with the date and time the medications should be taken,” Goodall explains. “We have found our patients like the pouches.”
Coupling the personal outreach with the custom packaging allows DailyMed to get “medication possession rates (MPR)” close to 100%, Goodall says. (An MPR of 100% for a 28-day script would be 28 days out of 28 days, for instance.) “We measure it for each patient and we provide the data to our clients,” he says.
Goodall adds that he has seen some patients with 30-50% MPR join the DailyMed program and achieve 100% MPR. “Getting that MPR up to 100% can lead to overall healthcare savings. Patients are often admitted to nursing homes because they are not compliant, and that care is expensive. It is sort of backwards now–patients at home miss their medications so they end up in institutions to be compliant–but it doesn’t have to be that way.”
DailyMed’s niche is definitely different from that of a drug manufacturer’s—but I think it is important to point out the difference that packaging seems to be making. How can you put packaging to use?