Vanderbilt uses their ScriptCenter pharmacy locker system as the prescription pickup point for discharge patients in medication adherence study.

Anjanette Ridley (PharmD, MHA) presented at ASHP Midyear the findings on a discharge study conducted at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. The purpose: to increase discharge medication access for Vanderbilt’s M2B program. Increased pharmacy access allows for increased prescription adherence to medication regimens. Firstly, all medication adherence starts with a patient getting their prescription in their hands. For this program, patients were directed by the pharmacy to the ScriptCenter locker system to retrieve their prescriptions upon discharge. By doing so, the pharmacy was able to centralize the prescription pickup point. This grants patients the ability to retrieve their medication on their way out, in their own time. Time is a large contributing factor as to why some discharge patients skip picking up their medication altogether. By centralizing the pickup location, patients are no longer restricted by pharmacy hours and location. They can also bypass any pharmacy congestion that could delay their departure.

Overall, there were a few key findings:

  • 15% increase in prescriptions filled at the Vanderbilt pharmacy after ScriptCenter installed
  • At the time of discharge, there was a positive impact on medication access for patients via their ScriptCenter locker system
  • The Vanderbilt M2B team were able to increase prescriptions routed to their pharmacy after the install of ScriptCenter

Additionally, data suggests that increased prescription access allows for an increase in patient prescription adherence. Overall, if pharmacies can increase patient access to prescriptions, their patients are more likely to pick up their medication; they can do this in various ways, like increasing pickup hours or creating a designated pickup point. A 2018 US Pharm study found that increased prescription adherence “can have a tremendous impact on quality and length of life, health outcomes, and overall healthcare costs.” As a result, patients can achieve a higher level of health. 

The engagement of patients is “essential” to the success of increasing adherence. How can a pharmacy do that? A centralized pickup point. A solution like an automated pharmacy locker system or kiosk creates ease of access for patients. For pharmacy, it increases the overall pharmacy footprint without the need to add additional staff. Automated pharmacy solutions allow for the pharmacy staff to work at the top of their license by moving elements like delivery and payment collection to the machine.