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Digital App Cuts Meds Discrepancies in Outpatients With CKD

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 -- Use of a digital application, eKidneyCare, can reduce total medication discrepancies and the severity of clinically relevant medication discrepancies among outpatients with advanced chronic kidney disease, according to a study published online March 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Stephanie W. Ong, from the University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a one-year randomized trial involving 182 outpatients with advanced chronic kidney disease who were randomly assigned to a smartphone preloaded with the eKidneyCare or MyMedRec applications (89 and 93 patients, respectively). eKidneyCare is synched with pharmacies and includes a medication feature that prompts patients to review medications monthly and report changes, additions, or medication problems, while the active comparator, MyMedRec, is an app for storing medication and other health information that can be shared with a provider.

The researchers found that the eKidneyCare group had fewer total medication discrepancies compared with MyMedRec at exit (median, 0.45 versus 0.67). The severity of clinically relevant medication discrepancies was reduced in all categories with eKidneyCare, including those with the potential to cause serious harm (estimated rate ratio, 0.40). Seventy-two percent of patients randomly assigned to eKidneyCare completed at least one medication review per month, while in the MyMedRec group, only 30 percent kept their medication profile on their phone.

"In this one-year study, we demonstrated the sustainability of the intervention and showed that this high level of patient engagement reduced the rate and severity of medication discrepancies, an indirect indicator of improved medication safety," a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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