Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Medication Reminder to Doctors Saves Lives, Cuts Costs

10.08.2004


Simply sending reminder letters to physicians caring for heart attack patients saved lives and cut costs by increasing use of a recommended but underused drug, according to a new study.



The drug, called a beta-blocker, should be prescribed for many patients who have suffered a heart attack, according to national evidence-based guidelines. Beta-blockers improve survival and lessen chances of second heart attacks.

The research appears in the American Journal of Managed Care.


Researchers from the University of Maryland, led by Ilene H. Zuckerman, Pharm.D., sent educational packages to the doctors of 2,543 Pennsylvania Medicaid patients. Package content varied slightly with each patient’s status. But the full package went to 485 doctors identified as having patients who should have been using beta-blockers but were not. Another 10,972 doctors received a newsletter containing much of the same information, but not tailored to specific patients.

The educational package included a letter about ways to treat heart attack patients, the problems patients had in obtaining and continuing to use beta-blockers, and ways to increase the use of these drugs. Doctors of patients who were not taking beta-blockers also received a list of the patients’ pharmacy records.

After the mailings, heart attack survivors were 16 percent more likely to be prescribed a beta-blocker, compared to patients before the intervention.

That effect may seem small, Zuckerman says, but it was statistically significant. Because the number of patients involved was so large, there were important benefits to even this one-shot intervention. Examination of pharmacy records also showed that the number of patients filling their prescriptions increased by 8.3 percent after the mailing, Zuckerman says.

The increased use of beta-blockers saved three lives, she estimates, and reduced hospitalization and other costs, saving more than $76,000 for the Pennsylvania Medicaid system. There was probably also a spillover effect to other patients and to doctors’ increased awareness of when to use beta-blockers.

“Materials were disseminated to many physicians in Pennsylvania,” she says, “and are likely to have some impact on care of heart attack patients well beyond the study population.”

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>