Medication Refill Reminder Services
Database Systems Corp. (DSC) has been in the telecommunications business since 1978 and is a leading provider of computer telephony software and phone technology including telephone reassurance phone systems that contact homebound residents to ensure their well-being.
Employing our advanced calling technology, DSC can send pill reminders such as medication reminders for seniors and homebound patients in just minutes. A recorded message can be delivered to either answering machines or to individuals reminding subscribers to take their prescription medication.
Medication reminders can be customized for each senior including special instructions. Custom information for each patient (such as name, medication type, prescription dosage, number of times per day, etc.) can be included in these medication reminder messages.
The following article is useful when considering the importance of taking your pills as prescribed.
Contact DSC to learn more about our medication reminder services and systems.
The Refill Police
Source: Anita Ramsetty, MD
Current as of January 15, 2009
On any standard day in clinic, at least one of my patients comes in with a heinous blood pressure prompting the usual litany of questions: do you have any chest pain/vision symptoms/headache/shortness of breath right now?
Then we get to the root of the issue: are you taking your medications? Often, as the case in clinic turned out to be this morning, the answer is “yes, but I ran out (insert number of days here) ago.” This often poses a treatment dilemma in clinic—does this patient actually need a different/new medication or just restart the old one? I have several patients whom have yet to record a blood pressure ON MEDICATION during their visits to clinic because every time they show up they have run out of medication for several days.
I have tried instilling this sense of early panic when there are about 5 pills left in the prescription bottle, but after having been on prescription medication myself and playing refill roulette for various reasons, I do understand some of the issue. I hate to admit it, but my most recent refill came when I had one pill remaining. What would have happened if the pharmacy needed to order this particular medication for some reason? Hmm, I guess I would have been off my medications… It seems like a friendly not-so-annoying refill reminder would do the trick.
My question is certainly not a new issue: in the journal Contemp Pharm Pract. 1980, a mailing system was discussed in regard to reminding patients to refill their medications. This post-card reminder service was deemed “effective” in the study, but jumping ahead to the nearly paperless age of the 2000’s: what do we have available now that doesn’t require downing a few trees?
There are many versions of reminders available for actually taking medications, from the newest software on smart phones, to tried and true watch and clock alarms. The pillbox and spouse/adult/child/other family member also serve this sweet purpose, with the off chance of being viewed as a nag somewhere along the lines. These are all great options that are quite necessary for even the most astute of us, much less our elderly family members who sometimes need to keep track of over 10 medications in one day.
But how about the actual refills? Is there anything specifically for that function? It turns out there are a number of options.
Several pharmacies including Walgreen, CVS and Rite Aid offer their own refill reminder service. The service is free and often is part of a more comprehensive “medication management” service offered by the pharmacy. E-mail reminders are the preferred method offered on the websites for many national pharmacies, but of course will be limited to those patients with ready Internet access.
In our wonderfully capitalist society there are many private companies offering this service. I cannot even tell you how many names come up when I Googled “refill reminder service,” many of which are private companies. These agencies will often arrange for any version of reminder including telephone or e-mail, but at a cost of course. One company described their reminder service as one that calls the home telephone up to 50 times a day until someone answers to verify the call has been accepted and the reminder given.
This sounds a bit nagging to me, I must say, but I am sure it works. Sheesh, anything to get that phone to stop ringing…
Big Brother has also gotten into the act after realizing the importance of medication adherence on health and health outcomes, as well as the millions of dollars being affected by non-adherence to medication regimens. The AHRQ division of the US Department of Health and Human Services discuses their recommendation for a telephone script on their site.
Just based on my initial search, my recommendation would be to suggest your patients use all their local pharmacy has to offer, including their version of refill reminders. Hopefully your patients have Internet access; otherwise some pharmacies may offer an automated telephone reminder as an alternative. If your patients can afford a bit more, then perhaps considering one of the private companies might be an option.
As our population ages, I suspect this will soon be built in to many services offered at no cost to patients because in the end the cost is so much higher when medications are missed. Truly when you think about it, we just can’t afford not to do this for everyone.
About The Author
Dr. Ramsetty received her Endocrinology training at Stanford University and her Internal Medicine training at the University of Florida. Currently she is on faculty at the Medical University for South Carolina and is also the Founder and Medical Director of the Endocrine Care Group, an Online Medical Consulting practice.
Public education remains an integral part of her life as she serves as volunteer columnist of “Sugar Matters” columnist for Caribbean and news-websites where she provides diabetes advice. Besides medicine she enjoys being a wife, mother, newby-runner, amateur cook and avid reader.
Additional Medication Reminder Articles
The following are other articles relating to medication reminders and prescription refill services:
Individual Medication Reminder Account Signup
DSC provides an easy and secure sign-up procedure (For a quick overview, please visit the registration information web page).
DSC provides online and phone management of your account. This lets you view a history of the calls. You can also manage the dates and times for these calls including vacation days.
- Online Enrollment - Sign-up online using our secure website.
- Subscriber Profile - Specify the senior citizen's profile (dates and times to make calls).
- Name Contacts - Identify who we need to contact if we can't reach the senior.
- Secure Payment - Choose one of several enrollment and payment options and pay online using Visa or MasterCard.
Plus our service is performed automatically.
Create An eCARE Account For Medication Reminders
You can create and manage a community organization eCARE account for free using our online registration process. With this account, you can enroll seniors and other community members using various different profiles including medication reminders for under $10/month per group member:
Click on the Create eCARE Account link below.
Enter your organization's name, a valid email address along with your own password, and we will establish your eCARE account.
eCARE can now be used as your primary calling program for seniors in your community or can be a backup to any other system that is currently making these calls.
eCARE is a pay-as-you-go service and you only pay for the calls that we make.
Contact Us Today
Contact DSC to learn more about our call reminder technology products, software and services.