These options are used to help identify patients who are getting regular medicines on a monthly or weekly basis who are likely to have misaligned dispensing patterns.
Note: All 3 options need to have a value in them, it should still function if they’re left blank but the data will be inaccurate.
Regular med disps in period over – this value should be less than or equal to the expected number of dispensings in a period i.e. over 3 months a patient getting any number of meds with monthly dispensings would expect to receive each medicine 3 times. So 3 should be entered in this field. If it were weekly dispensing then 12 or 13 should be entered.
Number of different regular meds in period – essentially a lower limit on the number of regular meds the patient should be receiving. So if 4 was entered here then it will only report on patients receiving 5 or more regular medicines.
Percent irregularity above this – only reports on patients with a percentage of irregular meds above this value. As it is quite unlikely that even a patient with no actual issues gets 0% here, this value should be at least 5%.
How it works
The analysis looks over each dispensing a patient has received in a period and keeps a record of how many regular medicines a patient is receiving and the average gap between dispensings for each medicine.
The program counts a medicine as being regular if it’s number of dispensings in a period is greater than or equal to the ‘target’ (the value set in ‘regular med disps in period over’), not including daily medicines or medicines that the patient stopped being on during the period. Analysed number of regular medicines are compared with the value set for ‘Number of different regular meds in period’ and if the number of regular meds that has been counted by the analysis is HIGHER than the value set here then the patient is left in the report.
The percent of irregular meds over the period is essentially how much longer (as a percent) the average gap between dispensings was than it should’ve been. For instance if a patient is receiving weekly dispensings they should expect to receive meds every 7 days, but in actuality it was calculated to be an average of 9 days between dispensings, 2 days later. So the percent of irregular meds is 2/9 = 22.22%.