Frequently asked questions

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What is Medical Adherence?

The WHO defines adherence as,

“The extent to which a person’s behavior – taking medication, following a diet and/or executing lifestyle changes corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider.”

You may have heard the term as “medical adherence” or “treatment adhrence”. Medication adherence simply means following your prescription and the instructions given. Adhering to medication is taking the medication as directed by a Doctor or health care professional – whether taken in pill form, inhaled, injected, as a syrup or as an application on the body like acream, gel, or ointment. Not taking medication as prescribed is called non-adherence. Many people never buy the medicines as per their doctor’s prescriptions, or they may not pick up their filled prescriptions from the pharmacy. Other people bring their medication home, but don’t follow their doctor’s instructions – they skip doses or stop taking the medicine.

Specifically, non-adherence includes:

  • Not buying the medicines as per doctor’s instructions, or filling a new prescription or refilling an existing prescription when you are supposed to;
  • Stop taking a medicine before the instructions say you should;
  • Taking more or less of the prescribed medicine; and
  • Taking the medicine at the wrong time.

Why is adherence important?

“Medicines donʼt work in patients who donʼt take them.”

Better adherence helps you achieve the desired health goals faster. Adherence to doctors’ prescription, recommendations is a primary determinant of treatment success.
Also, Health outcome of a patient cannot be accurately assessed unless your doctor knows your adherence levels to all the instructions given to you – like medicines, diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc. Then, your doctor takes the clinical decision on the followup course of action – whether to continue with the same medications, change your meds or discontinue a certain course of medicines.

What are the consequences of low medical adherence?

Low or Lack of adherence has dramatic effects on health. It is well known that nonadherence to medications can result in worsening clinical outcomes including hospitalization, exacerbation of chronic medical conditions, increased healthcare costs, and the same can get much worse.
Poor adherence blocks optimum clinical benefits and therefore reduces the overall effectiveness of health systems.

I'm a Patient. How does Onward help?

Onward Care patient app helps patients improve adherence to Doctors instructions (medications, exercises). By improving adherence, the patient is on the best route to get well faster. Onward also enables a 2-way communication between you and your care team/ first response team. Onward provides a mechanism for patients to order follow-on items based on the schedule like medications refills, followup appointments with physios, doctors.

I'm a Doctor. How can Onward help?

Onward Doctor app helps keep track of patient’s adherence and their real-time health status. By enabling a 2-way communication between patient and a care team, the platform helps improve adherence, enhance patient satisfaction, minimise postop complications and ensure ontime followup. By bringing the caregiver also into the conversation, the Hospital derives better compliance.

How can I get Onward care app?

Onward Health partners with hospitals, who provide it to their patients as a patient support tool that helps improve adherence and drives timely health outcomes. At your hospital, you could ask your Doctor or discharge nurse if they’re using the Onward platform, and how you could start using the service at your Hospital.

What if I am a new patient?

You can start using Onward in a minute. The signup process is simple.

Download the Onward Care app.

Complete signup page. Upload your medical records including a prescription or discharge instructions. And you’re all set. Onward will start engaging with you helping follow your medical plan with out a miss. In case you’re looking for help, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to setup your account.

Importance of Medical Adherence

Access this FDA resource

PostOp Guide from WHO

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