Patient Engagement Through Pill Bottle Caps

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Express Scripts Pill Cap (image courtesy of Express Scripts)

Express Scripts Pill Cap (image courtesy of Express Scripts)

When it comes to reminding patients to renew their prescriptions, a new program at the Express Scripts Pharmacy is communicating the message with laser precision.

Patients Who Forget to Renew Their Prescriptions

Up to 20% of patients with a chronic condition forget to renew their maintenance prescription before they run out of pills. The resulting gap in care increases the likelihood of medical complications and avoidable treatments.

Increasing Patient Engagement With a Message They Can’t Miss

The actionable part of a pill bottle is the cap itself. So Express Scripts recently launched a pilot to put customized messages directly on the bottle caps. We avoided stickers, which could potentially fall off. We avoided printing technologies that might smear.

Instead, we used lasers.

In the initial test, we used lasers to etch a message on the pill bottle cap, reminding the patient that he has no remaining refills and must contact his physician to renew the prescription. This simple message in a unique location had a significant effect: prescription renewal rates for these laser-etched bottle caps were 2.7% higher than those with the standard, un-messaged caps.

Although an increase of 2.7% may seem like a small number, it translates into more than 230,000 gaps in care that were closed due to the reminder messages on the pill bottle.

This is just one more example of how Express Scripts is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve and maintain the health of the patients we serve.

What’s Next for the Laser Technology

We’ve already received interest from clients in using this technique to:

  • Tailor messages to patients at risk of becoming non-adherent
  • Raise awareness about auto refills
  • Notify patients that the look of their pills has changed

The laser messaging enables us to keep important messages in front of patients, and we’re excited to explore additional ways we can use this technology to encourage healthier decisions.

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The content of this post is provided by our sponsor, Express Scripts.

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