Evaluation of pharmacy-based telephone interventions on medication pick-up rates: a retrospective, quality improvement study at charity outpatient clinics

Amulya Tatachar, Lyndsay C. Cole, Hoa L. Nguyen, Krista Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To evaluate a live telephonic outreach intervention made by clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmacy technicians on medication pick-up rates. Methods: A retrospective, quality improvement study conducted at six outpatient charity clinics in Dallas-Fort Worth area between 1 January 2017 and 31 July 2017. A live telephonic call was made by a pharmacy team member if the patient did not pick-up at least one prescription item. Patients may receive more than one call if they did not pick-up medication(s) more than once during the study period. A live telephonic call resulted in three categories: contacted, left a voice message and unable to contact. Medication pick-up rates were obtained from a pharmacy claims database. Key findings: The study population included 1726 individual patients who failed to pick-up at least one medication from Baylor Scott & White Health pharmacy. A total of 2551 live telephonic calls were made for the study population. A total of 1175 live telephonic calls (46.1%, n = 2551) resulted in a patient picking up medication(s). Results from the generalized estimating equation logistic regression models showed that patients who received a voice message (OR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.80; P < 0.021) or was contacted (OR: 1.99; 95% CI: 1.54 to 2.60; P < 0.001) were more likely to pick-up their medications as compared to the ‘unable to contact’ group. Conclusions: Telephonic interventions from the pharmacy team can serve as a successful means to increase medication pick-up rates among charity clinic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-519
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019



  • adherence
  • medication non-adherence
  • telephonic interventions

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