Mary’s Secret Struggle

Patient: Mary, 79 years of age  (disclaimer: the patient has asked us not to use her real name)

Prescribed medications for the following chronic conditions:

  • Blood pressure
  • Thyroid
  • Anti-depressant

Mary was not following her prescribed medication schedule. The mismanagement of her medications resulted in the following:

  • Medications were less effective.
  • Physician increased the dosage to compensate for the lack of effectiveness, not realizing that adherence was a problem for her.
  • Mary regularly complained about feeling light-headed and nauseous.
  • At one point, she fell. She was rushed to the hospital emergency room.

Her family discovered that her fall was associated with poor medication adherence. This is when her family started looking for ways to help her.

Action Taken

After being prompted by her daughter and son-in-law, who both work in the healthcare industry, Mary agreed to subscribe to the CuePath medication adherence service.

After the first week of having her medication adherence tracked by CuePath, Mary’s adherence was identified to be at 41%, meaning she was missing more than half of her medications (taking her meds on-time only 41% of the time).

Through CuePath’s home care partner, Mary was provided the outreach and support to help her manage her prescription schedule. The outreach team learned that the primary reason that Mary neglected her meds was due to the side effects of nausea and light headedness which were most acute around mealtimes. The outreach team contacted her pharmacist and they found ways to prevent the nausea. The light headedness was caused by her under-medication (missing more than half of her prescribed doses).


  • Within 3 weeks of starting the CuePath medication adherence service, she immediately improved from 41% to 60-70%.
  • In her 3rd month, her medication adherence jumped to 83%.
  • By the end of the 3rd month, her adherence was over 90% (in the 90-100% range).
  • Once her adherence had improved, her physician was able to reduce her medication dosages by 50%. This is because her non-adherence had reduced the effectiveness of her medications, and her physician compensated by increasing her dosages. Now that she was fully adherent, the dosage could be reduced.

What is the state of Mary’s health today?

Mary is now 80 years old and feeling healthy and well cared for. She continues to have very good medication adherence. She still subscribes to the CuePath service so her family can provide the appropriate support for those occasions when she neglects her medications.