National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education
and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food
choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
How can you
Choose foods and drinks that are good for your
Include a variety of healthful foods from all of
the food groups on a regular basis.
Select healthier options when eating away from
Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the
amount that’s right for you.
Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be
Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
Help to reduce food waste by considering the
foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
Find activities that you enjoy and be physically
active most days of the week.
In honor of National Nutrition Month, Tria Health has
assembled some of our favorite nutritional recipes:
If you have a chronic condition, a carefully
planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may
reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. Although your diet
might differ depending on your condition and lifestyle, there are three keys to
a healthy eating plan that will work for diabetes, heart health, cancer
prevention and weight management:
Eat meals and snacks regularly (at planned times).
Eat about the same amount of food at each meal or snack.
Choose healthful foods to support a healthy weight and heart.
Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health
Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.
National Sleep Awareness Week is from March 10 to
16, 2019. The goal of this week-long campaign is to promote the benefits of
optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being and safety. Sleep can be
especially important when it comes to the development and management of several
chronic diseases and conditions.
Sleep Impact Chronic Disease?1
Insufficient sleep has been linked to multiple
Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for
the development of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, sleep duration and quality
have emerged as predictors of levels of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of
blood sugar control.
Disease: Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk
for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, hypertension, stroke,
coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias) have been
found to be more common among those with disordered sleep than their peers
without sleep abnormalities.
Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic
changes that may be linked to obesity. Epidemiologic studies conducted in the
community have also revealed an association between short sleep duration and excess
Getting More Sleep2
Mood: Every night while you’re asleep, your brain is working to process
your emotions. Your mind needs this time in order to recognize and react the
right way. When you cut that short, you tend to have more negative emotional
reactions and fewer positive ones.
Heart: Sleep helps to lower your blood pressure and help in preventing
Energy: A good nights sleep can make a world of difference for your energy
levels. It can also help improve your motivation and allow time for your
muscles to repair.
Brain Function: Sleep plays a big part in both learning and memory. Without
enough sleep, it’s tough to focus and take in new information.
Immune System: Ongoing lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells
work. They may not attack as quickly, and you could get sick more often.
if you’re interested in seeing the steps you can take to improve your sleep.
Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program
Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management
through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one
telephonic counseling for members and are their personal advocate to help them
navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s
medications and lifestyle, including their sleep habits, Tria Pharmacists can
make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help
them feel better!
The CDC considers vaccinations to be one of the top
10 public health achievements of the 20th century.1-3
Thanks to vaccines, the incidence, morbidity, mortality, and prevalence of
vaccine-preventable diseases have considerably diminished since vaccinations
became available. Unfortunately, while vaccines are considered safe and
effective in preventing illness, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 US adults die
from vaccine-preventable diseases every year.4-5 In order to improve
the overall vaccination rate, it’s important we utilize all our resources.
Pharmacists are easily accessible and can be instrumental in providing patients
with pertinent information to help them make informed choices regarding
Vaccines are Important
There are two main benefits for vaccination:
You can help lower your chance of getting certain disease
Hepatitis B vaccine lowers your risk of liver cancer.
HPV vaccine lowers your risk of cervical cancer.
Flu vaccine lowers your risk of flu-related heart attacks or other flu-related complications from existing health conditions like diabetes and chronic lung disease.
You can lower your chance of spreading disease.
Some people in your family or community may not be able to get certain vaccines due to their age or health condition. They rely on you to help prevent the spread of disease.
Infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to infectious disease.
Vaccines are both effective and safe. They go
through years of testing before the FDA licenses them for use. Both the CDC and
FDA continue to track the safety of all licensed vaccines.6
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
recommends the following vaccination schedules:
Pharmacists are also in a unique position to
identify those patients who are in target groups for certain vaccinations. They
may also be able to ease the fears of many patients by providing them with
facts such as clinical data and by dispelling common misconceptions and myths
about vaccinations; they can also stress the significant risks associated with
not being vaccinated.7
Tria Health was founded on the belief that
pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients. With
Tria, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation with
one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your
pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins,
supplements and lifestyle habits. Your pharmacist will be able to answer any
questions you may have regarding vaccinations.
Oldfield BJ, Stewart RW. Common misconceptions,
advancements, and updates in pediatric vaccine administration. South Med J.
2016;109(1):38-41. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000399.
Ventola CL. Immunization in the United States:
recommendations, barriers, and measures to improve compliance: part 2: adult
vaccinations. P T. 2016;41(8):492-506.
Temoka E. Becoming a vaccine champion:
evidence-based interventions to address the challenges of vaccination. S D Med.
2013;(theme issue): 68-72.
Bach AT, Goad JA. The role of community
pharmacy-based vaccination in the USA: current practice and future directions.
Integr Pharm Res Pract. 2015;4:67-77. doi: 10.2147/IPRP.S63822.
Poland GA, Schaffner W, Hopkins RH Jr, US
Department of Health & Human Services. Immunization guidelines in the
United States: new vaccines and new recommendations for children, adolescents,
and adults. Vaccine. 2013;31(42):4689-4693. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.031.
Medication non-compliance is the failure to take a
medication according to the prescribed directions. Although medications are
effective in combating disease, approximately 50% of patients do not take their
medications as prescribed. Poor adherence to medication
leads to increased morbidity and death and is estimated to incur costs of
approximately $100 billion per year.1 While following
instructions for your medications may seem simple, there are a lot of different
factors that lead to medication compliance.
Non-compliance factors can be broken down into
three categories: Patient-related, physician-related and health system/team
While there are several patient-related factors, the main contributor to medication non-compliance is inadequate health literacy. In the United States alone, an estimated 90 million adults have inadequate health literacy.1 Inadequate health literacy can lead to a lack of understanding their condition or medication instructions. In order to improve compliance, understanding the ‘why’ behind why patients don’t take medications correctly and providing the appropriate education is an absolute necessity. These reasons are very individualized and the more a patient understands their condition and how to control it, the more likely they are to feel impowered and motivated to manage their disease and adhere to their medications.
Physicians can often unintentionally lead to
medication nonadherence by prescribing complex drug regimens, prescribing
medications that may be unaffordable to the patient, or inadequately explaining
possible side-effects a patient may experience. A solution to this is incorporating
a pharmacist into the care team to provide medication education and spending
more time with the patient when developing their care plan.
Health System/Team Building-Related Factors:
Unfortunately, due to fragmented health systems,
physicians do not have easy access to information from a patient’s numerous
care providers. This can cause issues when developing an effect care strategy
and communicating with a patient. Another factor in health systems that lead to
non-compliance are drug costs, which can greatly limit a patient’s access to
care. Increased implementation of electronic medical records and electronic
prescribing has the potential to increase adherence by identifying patients at
risk of nonadherence and targeting them for intervention. Another solution can
be the incorporation of a medication therapy management service, which can help
identify instances of nonadherence and possible substitutions for costly
Tria Health Help Prevent Non-Compliance?
Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan.
With Tria, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation
with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation,
your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins, supplements
and lifestyle habits. Your pharmacist will be able to identify any medication
interactions, affordable substitutions and answer any other medication-related
questions you may have. At the end of your consultation, you’ll receive a
customized care plan that Tria will assist in coordinating with any of your
It seems the older you get the more medications
accumulate. About 30 percent
of older adults in the United States and Canada filled a
prescription in the last few years for one of many medications that the
American Geriatrics Society recommends
they avoid. In addition, 66 percent of older adults are taking five
drugs or more per day – some of them are no longer necessary and may even be
causing harm.1 While there’s been a lot of focus placed on
physicians to help curb this problem there may be another solution:
Pharmacists do so much more than just dispense
prescriptions. They have a wealth of knowledge to assist patients with safe
medication use, potential drug interactions as well as preventative services
and over the counter medications. Pharmacists are often available when other
health care providers are not, and most often do not require you to schedule an
appointment to ask questions about your healthcare needs.
are an Ideal Partner for Physicians
There have been a multitude of studies conducted
over the years measuring patient improvement when a pharmacist is included as
part of the care team working with the physician. In a recent study, published in JAMA, patients were randomly assigned to two groups. With
one group, pharmacists gave both patients and their physicians educational
materials on the specific drug that might have been inappropriately prescribed.
The control group got the usual care, with no educational materials. Within six
months, 43 percent of the patients in the intervention group had stopped taking
one of the selected medicines. The corresponding figure was 12 percent in the
Tria Health’s Pharmacists
Tria Health was founded on the belief that
pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients that
drive the majority of health care spend. If Tria Health is currently a part of
your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your