Almost everyone does it at some point — skip a dose of a medication, decide to not schedule a recommended follow-up appointment or ignore doctor’s orders to eat or exercise differently. Such nonadherence can seem harmless on an individual level, but costs the U.S. health care system billions of dollars a year. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown how to best identify nonadherent patients, combining technology with the perceptions of health care providers.
The study, published online earlier this year and appearing in the December issue of Pediatric Nephrology, was conducted in a population of young people with chronic kidney disease, but likely holds lessons in how to track nonadherence more generally.
“We want to have better ways to figure out who is nonadherent so we can focus our efforts better on those patients who may require more assistance or specific resources to improve adherence,” says first author Cozumel Pruette, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “There are resources we can provide to boost adherence if we know who needs them.”