Simple Automated Phone Calls Help Identify Medication Side Effects

A study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that automatic phone calls with four basic yes/no questions were effective at detecting 46 percent of adverse drug events. The calls were made three and 17 days after getting the prescription filled. If patient answered "yes" to certain questions, pharmacists called them.

It’s interesting to see how very simple solutions can help tailor interventions for massive problems such as med adherence. Identifying problems isn’t necessarily solving them, but knowing what is happening post-visit or between-visit is essential to creating effective ongoing interventions. Somebody could setup a service like this, or use SMS, through a  hosted third party like Twilio. I’m sure there are privacy issues that probably prevent such an easy and cost-effective method.

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