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West Corporation

Posted on December 15, 2016 by West Corporation 


The New Bitter Pill: Patients Not Taking Medications

By Mike Synder

In healthcare, we love to highlight the latest innovations and medical breakthroughs—and while that first-of-its kind surgery is important, it’s also important to focus on the basics—which often prove to be not so basic.

One “basic” lesson for healthcare providers is that prescribing life-saving medications isn’t enough. Medications don’t work if patients don’t take them. In fact, studies have shown that 3 out of 4 patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Now, this isn’t necessarily an ‘aha moment,’ but it’s an issue that has come to the forefront with the release of a recent Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the report, 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 and older have high blood pressure (which is defined as 140/90mmHg or higher), but nearly half do not have their blood pressure under control. What’s even more troubling is that at least 25% of those adults with Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance are not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed.

High-risk populations
Whether that means skipping doses or forgoing the medicine altogether, it’s problematic. Not taking blood pressure medication contributes to higher risks of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death. Further, the CDC report highlights that some populations are more at risk than others, with the percentage of Medicare Part D enrollees not taking their blood pressure medicine being higher among certain racial/ethnic groups, like American Indians, Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics, and in geographic areas like the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

At first glance, it’s easy to be baffled by those statistics. Why is it so difficult for patients to take their medications, especially when the consequences are potentially deadly? As the report explains, there are many reasons why patients don’t take their medications. Some fail to fill the prescription at all or forget to refill it on time. Others stop taking the pills because they don’t have noticeable symptoms or because they experience unwanted side effects. In some cases, medications are just too expensive for patients.

Regardless of the why, providers have a responsibility to empower patients, not only within the walls of the exam room, and at the pharmacy, but also at home, on-the go, and everywhere in between. After all, healthcare today spans across the continuum of care. It requires providers to connect with patients in new ways that are meaningful and relevant. It demands that providers adapt their communications to meet patients’ needs, rather than expect patients to adapt to their needs or preferences.

Communication gaps
At the core of the important work that needs to be done is communication, which might be classified as basic, but is a shortcoming for many healthcare providers. This communication gap is arguably one of the biggest cracks in our healthcare ecosystem. At West, we know that engaged patients are healthier patients and that’s the foundation of everything we do. We believe that combining technology-enabled communications with clinical resources to help engage patients beyond the clinical setting, across the continuum of care, is critical to improving the patient experience, outcomes, and costs.

In order to be impactful, communication to increase medication adherence must be patient-centric, proactive, and consistent. We’ve learned that once communication becomes reactive, it’s usually too late to be effective. That’s why we offer providers the ability to send smart, automated communications like text messages, voice calls, and voice messages, based on language preference (multiple language on voice, and Spanish for text). With our approach, providers can personalize interventions, delivering the right communication, at the right time in the patient’s channel of choice. Our technology also helps providers to best allocate their clinical and administrative resources by assessing which patients are engaging with the communication as expected and which patients require an escalated intervention.

We’ve seen the results of these communication strategies firsthand at health systems across the country. By keeping our focus on patients, and leveraging technology, we can all make an impact and help to improve blood pressure control nationwide. And while that may seem ‘basic,’ the outcomes can be quite profound.

West Corporation

Posted on December 5, 2016 by West Corporation 


Turning CX into $$

Despite customer experience emerging more prominently than ever as a key brand differentiator, 92% of customers admit they’ve had to endure a poor customer experience. Furthermore, 46% of these people took their time, money and advocacy to a competing company, as a result. And neither brand negligence, nor today’s fickle customer are entirely to blame for these missed opportunities. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 


Choosing a Contact Center Provider that Fits Your Needs

If you’re like many companies, you’re considering either an update or a complete upgrade of your contact center solution. This is obviously a decision that you can’t take lightly. You’re undoubtedly facing budgetary pressure, which means you need to implement the right solution the first time.

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West Corporation

Posted on November 21, 2016 by West Corporation 


‘Tis the Season to be Mobile

The smell of peppermint is beginning to fill the air, tunes on the radio are becoming undeniably festive and intricate lighting displays adorn houses before we have even carved our Thanksgiving turkeys. All these things make it clear that the holiday shopping season is upon us. This coming “Black Friday” marks the official kick-off, after all!

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West Corporation

Posted on November 18, 2016 by West Corporation 


Speaking Your Customers’ Language with Voice Recognition

Face it: As the world “texts” away and 35 percent of people take to social media for expedient customer care[i], picking up the phone often means a customer has already exhausted a variety of other self-service options. As a result, customers have been conditioned to loathe your company’s interactive voice response (IVR) system from the get-go – and who can blame them. But it’s not IVR itself that customers truly despise; rather, they’re frustrated with its capacity to understand and help them self-serve.

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West Corporation

Posted on November 17, 2016 by West Corporation 


How Pharmacists Can Help Tackle the Superutilizer Crisis

By Robert J. Dudzinski, Pharm.D., Executive Vice President, West Corporation

So-called “superutilizers” are one of the biggest healthcare crises. These patients, who typically have multiple co-morbid conditions, siphon off a disproportionate share of healthcare dollars and typically have a poor quality of life, due to frequent hospital stays or other interactions with the healthcare system.

A recent study from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that just 5 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries account for almost 50 percent of program spending. The most expensive 25 percent accounted for more than 75 percent of the expenditures. Meanwhile, the least expensive 50 percent accounted for less than 8 percent of the Medicaid dollars spent and about 12 percent of enrollees had no expenditures at all.

Pharmacists, who are often the only healthcare provider with a 360-degree view of a patient, have an important role to play in identifying these superutilizers, helping to uncover the causes of avoidable healthcare overutilization, and developing strategies to appropriately intervene with the goal of improving outcomes and lowering costs.
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West Corporation

Posted on November 16, 2016 by West Corporation 


GIS Data Sharing in the PSAP

By Charles Van Hoose, Sr. GIS Analyst at West

LEAD THE WAY

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is front & center in the march toward a fully-realized i3-based Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) environment. No longer considered a secondary, reactionary tool for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), GIS is Identified as a key foundational element in the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 specification.
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West Corporation

Posted on November 10, 2016 by West Corporation 


Preserving Patient Bonds

By Robert Dudzinski

While pharmacists spend years training to be experts on drug formulation, dosing and how to prevent adverse interactions between medications, it’s probably not their favorite part of the job. Many instead relish the one-on-one interactions with longtime customers throughout different seasons of their lives.
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West Corporation

Posted on November 7, 2016 by West Corporation 


Choosing the Right SMS Provider 4 U

With 64 percent of people preferring text communication to phone customer support[i], gone are the days of SMS as a mere alternative to the phone call. But moving forward with SMS/text messaging strategy can be a real business headache without understanding the ins-and-outs of what needs to happen behind the scenes. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when selecting an SMS provider is not understanding their future requirements. Ensure you have a full understanding of your SMS/text messaging needs with this checklist. Read More >


West Corporation

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