Patient follow-up could reduce complications with medication side effects, study finds
QUEBEC — Researchers in Canada found that pharmacists who call their patients after a prescription has been filled can help reduce and manage adverse drug reactions for those patients.
The researchers used automated calls to follow-up with 629 patients at family practices in Quebec three days and then again 17 days after a presciption was filled with four simple "yes-or-no" questions.
The study helped to identify 46% of adverse drug reactions by those patients and influenced how 40% of those were managed by the healthcare professional, the researchers noted in Monday's online issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
"The system is identifying the patient who has a problem, the pharmacist is talking to them and they change their prescription in such a way that the patient can continue to take the medications or take an alternative medication," said study author Dr. Alan Forster, scientific director of performance measurement at the Ottawa Hospital.
It's the first time that automated calls have been used to help patients this way, Forster added.