“How well are you following your treatment plan?” is definitely one of the most frustrating things a provider asks in a given day. It should be asked “How little of the treatment plan did you follow?”.
You take the time to help your patient, diagnose their issues and customize a plan for them to get back on the right track, only to have them let you down by either not taking your plan seriously or by blatantly ignoring it.
It becomes very frustrating for you because readmissions are a huge mark against you, their extra visits may or may not be covered, and they put a huge drain on the healthcare system in terms of resources. Your staff dreads seeing your patients that don’t adhere to your treatment plans because they know there will not be significant improvement.
Do not despair, there are some ways for you to improve your patient adherence.
1. Improve between visit communications. Use social media, email and your website as tools to reach your patients and encourage them to eat healthier, exercise, watch their insulin levels, etc. It is very easy to put a program together using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
2. Run programs or contests. Create a version of a frequent shopper program where the more a patient is in adherence, the more points they would accumulate. These points can be used to purchase discounted supplements or other private pay services that you may offer.
3. Create support groups. Encourage patients with similar issues to meet in your office during down times to help each other follow their plans. Peer support has been found to increase adherence significantly according to studies published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.
4. Improve your medication management program. Many times, by providing a better medication schedule, you will be able to improve adherence. Patients are often confused about when and what to take. By giving them a clear plan on taking their medications, you are empowering the patient. The other thing is to discuss how your patient wants to take their medication, if they are comfortable with once a day and the medication is available, then the patient will be more likely to adhere.
5. Bulk up your patient education. A well informed patient is more likely to adhere to their treatment. This is according to numerous studies by Press Ganey and others. You should be informing patients before, during and after their appointments. Education should be easy to understand and consumable. Videos and fast facts work really well because we live in a sound bite era.
Implementing these steps are also a breeze. You can contact Halo Health. Halo is a patient education company focused on customizing solutions that work for your patients, staff and you. Our digital education platforms help patients learn the hows and whys of their diseases in easy to understand terms. Our social media consulting helps you become the internet expert.
Contact us today (856-520-8655 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn how we can help your patients and your practice be more profitable.