Understanding Factors that Increase Medication Synchronization Program Participation Within a Community-based Chain Pharmacy



Background: Medication synchronization (medsync) is a service that fills patients’ medications on a regular time cycle. Enrolling and continuing patients in medsync are challenging despite documented benefits. Literature investigating solutions to this problem through the pharmacy staff perspective is needed to create successful medsync programs.

Method: An electronic survey was distributed to staff of 138 Smith’s pharmacies offering medsync for three months. Survey questions were based on preliminary interviews with Smith’s pharmacy employees. The three aims were to identify barriers to successful medsync, factors that increase medsync enrollment, and factors that increase medsync continuation. Overall survey results were analyzed, and top and bottom 25th percentile pharmacy groups’ results were compared.

Result: The top barrier to successful medsync selected was software and technical issues (11.69%). Staff’s knowledge on medsync was perceived to increase the enrollment rate the most (15.43%), while minimizing short fills of medications was thought to improve continuation rates the most (15.25%). The analyses on the two groups’ results did not find significant differences. Perceived importance on these factors was not significantly different between groups either, except patients’ interest and knowledge on medsync (p=0.028 and 0.09).

Conclusion: Factors identified to hinder or improve a medication synchronization program at Smith’s pharmacies were identified, and not statistically different trends were observed between pharmacies with high and low enrollment rates. The groups viewed the importance of patients’ interest and knowledge on medsync differently. This result may help community chain pharmacies to establish successful medsync programs.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in College of Pharmacy, Virtual Poster Session Spring 2021


  1. It sounds like the software is a real problem. Do you know if Smith’s is looking at any ways of improving it? Nice work!

    1. Dr. Henchey,
      You are right that many participants of the study suggested the software to be a great barrier for the medsync program. From what I understand, the result of the study will be discussed with the Smith’s Food and Drug corporate to improve their medsync program practices. I don’t have additional or more specific strategies that they will be utilizing. Thank you!

  2. Yes the intuitiveness of software plays an important role in many outcomes. Thanks.

  3. Such an important thing – yet so awfully complex from a practicality side. Great project idea and results. I look forward to seeing your publication!

  4. Connie, what a fun project! I would have to agree that software is a real issue when trying to have an effective med sync program. We run into this issue in my work place as well. There is supposed to be a med sync program built into our software but it isn’t very intuitive so we end up doing most of our med syncs manually. Good job on your project! I’m sure it will be useful information to help improve med sync software in the future.

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