Emory Healthcare and DrFirst Collaboration Aims to Assist Patients with Medication Adherence and Affordability


Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive academic health system in Georgia, is collaborating with health care technology pioneer DrFirst to help patients access and adhere to affordable, appropriate prescription medications for their health conditions and ailments. Research shows that medication adherence is a primary determinant of success in patient outcomes, while non-adherence can lead to a worsening of diseases and disorders, increased health care costs and even death.

“The collaboration with DrFirst will put patients first in enhancing medication prescribing and management, from an encounter with the clinician to picking up the prescription at the pharmacy,” says Alistair Erskine, MD, chief information and digital officer for Emory Healthcare. “These clinical solutions will assist our providers with their decisions in providing a higher level of care for our patients.”

“For many patients, especially those with chronic conditions, taking their medications as prescribed is vital to positive health outcomes and staying out of the hospital,” says G. Cameron Deemer, CEO of DrFirst. “Technology can help by making clinical data more usable, removing friction from workflows, which assists clinicians and patients to achieve better medication outcomes.”

Emory Healthcare is using three medication management services offered within Fuzion by DrFirst, a software platform that uses clinical-grade artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline clinical workflows to boost workflow efficiency and medication adherence.

  • Medication history with clinical-grade AI provides the most comprehensive information available and eliminates the need for manual data entry in workflows. This means patients will have less chance of adverse drug events, clinicians will have more complete data at the point of care, and pharmacists will save time on medication reconciliation, which is the process of making sure the list of medications for a patient matches what the patient is actually taking.
  • Prescription price transparency allows providers to know patients’ pharmacy benefits, including their out-of-pocket costs, before they leave the doctor’s office or hospital. Knowing these costs up front, with options to switch to an affordable therapeutic equivalent if too costly, saves time and money for patients. This increases medication adherence and means patients are less likely to abandon high-cost prescriptions at the pharmacy.
  • Coming soon: Automated messaging will alert patients when their clinician sends an electronic prescription to their pharmacy. The HIPAA-compliant functionality will allow patients to review their prescription and pharmacy information, as well as get relevant educational information and financial savings for their medication.

Patients will automatically benefit from the prescription messaging when they opt-in for communications from Emory. Additionally, patients can choose to opt-out of receiving text messaging alerts.

“Managing multiple medications and cost considerations can be challenging for patients when dealing with a chronic condition or sudden illness,” says Christy Norman, PharmD, vice president of pharmacy services for Emory Healthcare. “Having these additional solutions in place will help identify and manage the best medications for every patient’s individual health journey.”