For lots of healthcare professionals, prescribing the right medication for the patient’s needs is half the battle. Actually ensuring that they follow the correct procedures for taking their prescriptions is a challenge in its own right, and one which is especially important to overcome if you want to improve outcomes for all sorts of treatments.
So how can you get patients to comply with the requirements of a particular course of medication? Here are just a few solutions to implement if you are struggling at the moment.
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Provide excellent human services
Most importantly of all, you need to recognize that patients are individuals with their own needs, and so treating them as such is better than taking the generic approach.
This is where excellent human services come into play, and companies like Radicle Health are empowering healthcare providers and practitioners to manage cases in a bespoke way without being overburdened by additional admin.
Discuss the possible side effects in advance
Side effects are common when taking all sorts of medications, yet it is not enough to assume that patients will read the small print and thus know what to expect.
Instead it is best to talk through the potential side effects with them at the point that a medication is prescribed, so that if they do experience certain reactions, they are not surprised or worried. Knowledge and understanding will demystify medicine and increase the likelihood of compliance.
Put it in writing
Speaking with physicians can be an intimidating and overwhelming process, especially if there is a lot of information to take in. As such, it is not enough to simply tell a patient about how to take their medication, because they may not remember the specifics after the appointment.
The best solution is to write down what they need to do, and the schedule they need to stick to. The more complex the course of medication, the more crucial it is to have the instructions down in writing.
Ask about existing habits
You might not know that a patient is failing to follow the requirements of their prescription medications unless you actually ask them whether they are sticking to the instructions provided.
The main thing to remember when discussing their habits is that you should not set out to blame them for any lack of compliance they exhibit. Lots of people simply forget to take pills at the right time, or have other medications in rotation that might take priority in their minds.
Be open and inclusive, and you should receive the answers you need to determine how to deal with an individual according to their habits and circumstances.
Give patients more choice
Another excellent way to improve compliance is to work with patients to put together a suitable schedule for their medication.
Everyone has lives and routines that have their own rhythms, so it is better to try and work with them than insist on medication plans that are a potentially disruptive force.
Stay in touch
Once you have sent a patient on their way with a prescription in hand and the details of what to do with it, this should not be the end of your relationship with them.
Instead, communicating with patients and providing them with reminders as well as emotional support is a means of making sure they stick to the script.
This is especially relevant in the case that patients are prescribed a course of medication that has to be taken over an extended period, even if the symptoms of the condition it is treating vanish half way through.