An article published in the US National Library of Medicine by the National Institutes of Health reveals that 33 to 69 percent of all the medication-related hospital admissions in the United States are a direct result of noncompliance. The institution also revealed that noncompliance resulted in a cost of about $100 billion per year. ReactDx, ECG monitor experts, offers a few tips that doctors can implement to encourage their patients to follow-through with their prescribed treatments.
Keep Instructions Simple
Some patients may neglect to follow their care plan because they simply don’t understand it. When giving instructions to the patient at the end of their visit, replace medical jargon with language the patient will understand. It can also be helpful to have the patient repeat the instructions back to you so you’re sure he or she knows what to do.
Print the Treatment Plan Out
If a patient has multiple changes to their medications or a variety of tests you’d like them to schedule, it is best to print the treatment plan out and give them a copy. This way, the patient can refer back to the instructions as needed. You may even want to have the instructions written out in a step-by-step list that is easy to follow.
Stress the Severity of Noncompliance
It may be that your patient doesn’t understand the consequences of not following through with your treatment plan. Before the patient leaves the exam room, go over the potential risks of not taking the medications or having the prescribed tests completed.
Build a Rapport
Taking the time to build a relationship with the patient can make all the difference. If they feel they can trust you, then he or she is more likely to have enough confidence in you and believe that following your orders is best.
Let patients know you appreciate their efforts and that you’re proud of their accomplishments. If they quit smoking or started to lose weight, make that achievement a big deal. The patient will feel good about what they’ve done so far, and will then be motivated to listen to any new instructions you have for their care plan.
Implementing these changes may take time, but it is worth it in the end when you have more patients who are taking their health seriously and following sound medical advice.
ReactDx makes a line of ECG monitors that can be used to check a patient’s heart health so you have the information you need to develop a care plan. Call ReactDx at 800-234-3278 to learn more, or visit our News & Updates page.