Pennsylvania's Geisinger Health is collaborating with pharmaceutical vendor Merck to develop Web-based software to improve patients' compliance with medication schedules.
Geisinger Health System,
runs care facilities for 2.6 million residents in 44 counties in Pennsylvania,
is working with drug manufacturer Merck
to develop cloud-based applications for medication adherence.
offers over-the-counter medications such as Claritin and Tinactin as well as
prescription-products like the Nasonex nasal spray and Singulair asthma
medication. The company operates under the name MSD outside the United States
and Merck announced their collaboration on June 18.
comprises five hospitals and 37 community practice cities. It also offers
health plans and wellness programs.
collaboration with Merck will allow both organizations to leverage our
individual expertise and joint resources to improve patient engagement,
including finding new interventions to increase the likelihood that patients
will adhere to their treatment plans," Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., president and
CEO of Geisinger, said in a statement.
will integrate the new tools developed with Merck in its system-wide electronic
health record (EHR) application.
Geisinger will develop a Web application to allow doctors to assess when
patients are at risk for cardiometabolic syndrome, in which several risk
factors together make a patient susceptible to type 2 diabetes and
application will provide access to care-management protocols based on risk
factors for cardiometabolic syndrome as well as expert recommendations and
patient-entered data and preferences, Dr. Thomas Graf, chairman of community
practice at Geisinger Health, told eWEEK
in an email.
visual models will be able to increase communication between doctors and
patients, according to Graf.
addition to the cloud application for cardiometabolic syndrome, Geisinger and
Merck will develop other care-management applications, which Geisinger will
test in its health system.
will use a "rapid cycle review process" to test the new applications.
The health system will rely on its long-term relationships with families of
patients along with its EHR platform during testing, Geisinger reported.
rapid learning process will be used to integrate, evaluate and improve the
performance of each solution in primary care clinical settings," Steele
an integrated health services organization, Geisinger has the ability to test
the tools using a rapid cycle process in different clinical care
settings," added Graf.
collaboration, Merck will draw on its expertise in scientific research that
studies the drivers of non-adherence to medication schedules.
will closely monitor patient acceptance, treatment adherence and other metrics
to determine which tools and solutions have the ability to improve patient care
and are ready to be deployed on a broader scale," said Steele.
user-friendly nature of a Web-based tool will lead patients to manage their
conditions more effectively, according to Dr. Sethu Reddy, head of U.S. medical
affairs at Merck. It could motivate patients to stay connected with doctors
outside the hospital or doctor's office, he suggested.
for cardiometabolic patients will allow patients to increase their medication
adherence rate by providing real-time patient data, including status on
adherence, patient preference and any barriers that arise, said Reddy.
will] allow health care professionals to have more meaningful discussions with
patients about the barriers to adherence and appropriate interventions to help
patients adhere to treatment plans," said Reddy.
will first test the joint applications in a small number of sites for usability
and efficiency, and then deploy it across the health system's Community
Practice Service line of 200 local providers in Pennsylvania.