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    6 effective ways to enhance patient compliance in healthcare

    how to improve patient compliance

    Patients have a huge responsibility for determining the success of their treatment outcomes. While physicians may assess, diagnose, and prescribe the treatment, the ultimate decision to follow instructions lies with the individual. 

    Unfortunately, patients often become their worst enemies by choosing not to adhere to their physician’s instructions, neglecting prescribed medications, and not making lifestyle changes.

    Sadly, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that approximately 125,000 Americans with treatable ailments pass away each year because of medication non-adherence. 

    Despite numerous factors influencing patient compliance, effective strategies like clear communication, personalized care, and trust-building can enhance patient medication adherence. And, implementing practice management software such as Pabau can help you in executing these strategies.

    1. Ensure clear and concise communication with patients

    Effective treatment starts with a robust consultation where physicians ask patients to talk them through their condition and concerns so they can give an accurate diagnoses. 

    They should then explain to the patient, using simple language and avoiding medical jargon, what their diagnosis is and their treatment plan. They should also explain the importance of compliance and why it’s necessary for them to follow through with the treatment.

    Physicians should also encourage patients to ask questions if they don’t understand something or have any concerns, so they don’t go home with dozens of unanswered questions. 

    Healthcare professionals should also provide patients with clear and educational pre and after-care instructions so they can have all the information they need at hand, even after they leave the clinic. Patient education is crucial as it impacts their decision-making process. 

    Digital communications are important too. That’s why with a lot of practice management software, like Pabau, you can automate pre-care and aftercare so the message is consistent, the patient can refer to it when they need it, and there’s a record of it being sent.

    2. Offer personalized patient care

    One size doesn’t fit all in healthcare.

    Given the vast array of individual characteristics, medical histories, and personal circumstances, every patient requires a tailored and consultative approach.

    From medication schedules to lifestyle recommendations, tailoring treatment plans to meet the unique needs and preferences of each patient is key.

    Keeping detailed records of each patient’s condition, appointment and medical history, prescribed medications, patients’ preferences, and allergies is crucial. This level of attentiveness not only demonstrates a commitment to individualized care but also ensures that patients feel seen and valued, rather than just one among many.

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    A personalized approach will also build trust between the patient and the healthcare provider, which will increase patient engagement. They will feel comfortable asking questions about themselves and will be active participants in their care, which is directly linked to improved patient compliance.

    3. Simplify treatment regimens

    Putting together a 200-piece jigsaw puzzle compared to one with 2000 pieces is simpler, less overwhelming, and requires less much time and effort. 

    Patient treatment regimens work the same way. 

    If patients have to navigate a complex plan, they’re more likely to miss important steps or even give up halfway through. On the other hand, if treatment plans are straightforward, patients are more likely to adhere to the prescribed drug regimens for a longer period.

    • Medication adherenceMedication regimens can be complex and difficult to follow, especially for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Simplifying regimens, such as reducing the number of medications or using long-acting medications, can improve patient adherence. 
    • Appointment scheduling: Scheduling appointments at convenient times for patients and sending them real-time appointment reminders can help them keep up with their care. This can also be achieved by offering online bookings, as patients can schedule appointments by themselves at a time convenient for them, without having to spend valuable time on back-to-back calls.  
    • Technology: Cloud-based practice management software, including patient portals, makes it easier for patients to track their treatment plans. Through a patient portal, they can access aftercare recommendations, upcoming appointments, and other details in one place. Telehealth consultations, conducted from the comfort of their homes, help prevent missed appointments and contribute significantly to patient compliance.

    Pabau’s comprehensive patient portal and the built-in telehealth feature for video consultations can help you with simplifying patient treatment plans. Book a demo to learn all the ways our robust software can help you improve patient compliance.

    4. Addressing barriers to compliance

    Many factors influence patient compliance and adherence. 

    Although some of them are impossible to control and have influence over, healthcare providers should address these barriers, take notes, and help patients stay adherent to their medical treatment in any way they can.  

    For example, barriers related to healthcare costs can be a major issue, especially for medications and treatments. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare spending is expected to almost double over the next three decades. It is projected to increase from 3.1 percent of GDP in 2023 to 5.5 percent by 2053.

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    Primary care providers should be aware of their patient’s financial state and help them find ways to afford their treatment and medication, such as assistance programs or financial counseling. Providing flexible payment options, like paying in installments, can also be useful for patients who can’t afford to pay the full price for their treatment at once. 

    Barriers related to transportation can also pose difficulties and prevent patients from attending appointments or filling prescriptions. Healthcare organizations need to take into account these barriers and should offer telehealth consultations and send electronic prescriptions to patients when possible.

    Pabau integrates with CloudRx and Signature RX — tools that help clinics create paperless, secure, and legally valid electronic prescriptions directly to pharmacies.

    For example, a study involving 500 individuals undergoing treatment for diabetes and hypertension revealed a decline in compliance when patients faced financial barriers to attending appointments. Similarly, the study observed that patients were more inclined to adhere to prescribed medications and dietary changes if they were affordable.

    The lack of social support is also a barrier that prevents patients from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adhering to their medical treatment plan. Caregivers can encourage patients to build social support networks, such as joining support groups or talking with family members and friends, and educate them about how much their support impacts patient compliance.

    5. Building trust and rapport

    Honest communication and the practitioner’s expertise are key elements in fostering trust between the patient and the healthcare provider. 

    This is crucial because patients must have confidence that their physician’s recommendations will lead to improvement in their condition. Otherwise, they may look for alternative information online that contradicts their treatment plan, which can lead to non-compliance.

    While building trust and rapport can’t be achieved overnight, practicing patient-centered care — taking the time to listen to patients, respecting their concerns, and treating them with dignity and respect lays the foundation. 

    Healthcare providers should also be sensitive to cultural differences that may influence patients’ understanding of treatment recommendations.

    Consistency in care, with a regular healthcare provider who understands the patient’s condition well, further strengthens the trust and enhances patient compliance.

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    In one survey, when patients were asked why they do not trust their physician, 25% said it was because their physician doesn’t spend enough time with them, and 14% said their physician doesn’t know them or listen to them.

    Making sure your practice is HIPAA compliant also adds to building the trust that the patients have towards the health care system. 

    6. Monitoring and providing patient feedback

    Continuous monitoring of a patient’s treatment progress is vital for identifying any potential issues that may arise along the way. For example, if a patient doesn’t show up for an appointment, immediately following-up via email, SMS, or phone call allows healthcare providers to address any concerns or barriers to adherence.

    This proactive approach will build a trusting relationship as patients feel supported and accountable for their treatment progress. 

    By closely monitoring and documenting patient treatment progress, healthcare providers can offer valuable feedback during check-ups. This feedback serves as guidance for patients, highlighting areas where they can improve adherence and achieve desired health outcomes.

    For example, Pabau users can capture photos of their patients’ treatment progress directly within the system and share them with the patient so they can see their progress.

    Find out how clinics are improving their patient compliance with Pabau

    how to improve patient compliance

    Pabau is an all-in-one practice management software designed to enhance patient outcomes and can help you:

    • Establish clear and concise communication by sending customized appointment reminders, intake forms, and educational materials to patients.
    • Provide personalized care by centralizing all personal information, medical and appointment history, and treatment regimens within the system. 
    • Simplify treatment regimens as your patients can schedule appointments through an online booking portal and access all relevant information in one place. 
    • Address barriers to compliance by allowing payments in installments and providing the option for telehealth services. 
    • Pabau will help you monitor patients’ progress through comprehensive client cards, where all relevant patient information is stored. 

    Curious to see more of the ways Pabau can help you enhance patient compliance? You know what to do – schedule a demo to see how we can help.

    What you should do now

    1. Schedule a Demo to see how Pabau can help your team.
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