Computation of adherence to medicines to assist clinicians in the outpatient setting

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

This project is under way, and will run until October 2020.

  • Being run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, in partnership with University of Glasgow, Scotland and the University of Lyon, France.
  • Aiming to improve medicines adherence assessment and support for outpatients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
  • Using the programming language R to analyse prescription data to provide clinicians with adherence estimates and visualisation of medication histories at the point of care.   

Adherence to medicines is an important indicator of the quality of medication management, and impacts health care outcomes and cost effectiveness. Patients with long-term conditions, such as epilepsy, are often poorly adherent, which results in increased use of health care and higher risk of death.

Currently, specialist clinicians within the outpatient setting rely on self-reported adherence, which is unreliable and prone to bias. Accessing an independent estimate of adherence at the point of care would improve adherence assessments, treatment-related decision making and adherence support.

This project from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) aims to provide clinicians in the outpatient setting with adherence estimates and allow them to visualise individual medication histories and adherence patterns for attending patients.

Data analysts within the NHS GGC Pharmacy Service will use the programming language R to analyse nationally-held digital prescription data from GP practices to estimate medication adherence, persistence and initiation, and explore medication histories.

This advanced analysis will result in measures and visualisations that can be incorporated into existing outpatient clinic systems and used during consultations. Prescribers will be educated on how to use these analytics to identify and discuss adherence issues, and work alongside patients to consider regimen improvements and adherence support tools.

The usability and acceptability of the analytics and accompanying decision and adherence support tools will be assessed using clinician and patient interviews, observations and questionnaires.

As well as helping hospital specialists to identify and address adherence issues, this project will provide data analysts with valuable experience of using R to reinforce analytical capabilities for health care delivery.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Seán MacBride-Stewart, Lead for Medicines Management Resources, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

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