We have recently come to the end of a pilot project that has been running for four years, with a Mental Health Foundation Trust; the Trust provides services for a population of approximately 2.5 million people throughout the South East of England. The project was based on improving medication adherence for patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder through reminders. Mednet have delivered this project on behalf of a large pharmaceutical company.
Research has shown that adherence to prescribed medication is both beneficial to the patient’s health and also for the overall reduced cost and time to the healthcare system despite the increased cost in pharmaceutical spending. We offered patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder access to a range of services that would enhance their adherence to medication. Patients could be reminded to take their daily oral medication, attend their long-acting injection (LAI) appointments, and attend psycho-education or well-being groups. The reminders could be delivered in a number of ways, including text reminders and phone call reminders – either by automatic voice recording (AVR) calls, or by a manual calls from a service operator. The service was customisable based on the needs of each individual patient.
There have been great outcomes from the service; statistically, patients were found to stay on their LAI longer than the average patient who was not engaged with a remind service; patients overall well-being was improved through engagement with additional activities such as well-being groups and psychoeducation; patients actively engaged with the service by requesting additional reminders to help manage their condition independently.
The programme is on-going in other areas of the UK, where patients who receive a LAI continue to engage effectively with the programme.