Findings from a prospective study conducted at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, demonstrate the feasibility of creating an automated reminder system for glaucoma medications using the electronic health record (EHR) and show that such a system is generally well-received by patients.
Investigators noted that additional longitudinal studies are needed to determine the clinical relevance of the portal-linked system for improving medication adherence and glaucoma outcomes.
Reported in the March 2019 issue of JAMA Ophthalmology [Varadaraj V, et al. Association of an electronic health record-linked glaucoma medical reminder with patient satisfaction. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137:240-245], the study recruited patients from the Wilmer Eye Institute glaucoma clinic who were being treated with IOP-lowering medications.
Patients were approached from April 2017 to January 2018 and asked about their willingness to use a computer-based system to configure medication reminders.
Those who agreed to enter the study were interviewed to assess medication adherence, current use of reminders, and the likelihood they would use EHR-linked reminders. Participants were asked to set up the reminders themselves or with the assistance of a family member, but help from a research coordinator was available if preferred.
The reminders were voice- or text-based. Text-based messages also asked patients to respond within 30 minutes, and if patients failed to respond, the system delivered a second message encouraging them to respond.
Three months after entering the study, participants were contacted by telephone and interviewed again for feedback about their experience with the system.