An automated phone calling system that asks patients about the prescriptions their doctors ordered, with follow-up calls from pharmacists, can mitigate adverse drug events (ADEs) and prescription non-compliance that might otherwise go unnoticed.
"Most patients do ask [about their medications if they have questions] when given the opportunity," says Alan Foster, MD, general internist and Scientific Director of Performance Measurement at the Ottawa Hospital in Canada. But that's an opportunity they don't easily get, he says.
"We need to increase opportunities to ask questions—hence our intervention."
The results of his experiment with the phone system is published in the current issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
Foster was prompted to see if the automated system and pharmacists' follow-up calls could avoid or identify adverse drug events, which he defined as poor health outcomes caused by prescription medications.