When patients experience chronic or acute episodes, many treatment options require patients to partake in lifestyle changes in order to address the root cause of their illness. For a diabetes patient, managing sugar levels can significantly improve quality of life, while a knee replacement patient may need to adhere to strict ambulation requirements to fully heal.
As Jim Cucinotta argues, getting patients to adhere to a lifestyle change or a recurring treatment can be quite challenging for many providers. Part of the challenge comes from how these changes are communicated and the value patients may see by complying with their treatment protocols.
Achieving patient buy-in is easier when there is a focus on education, training, and development at your facility. If there is no in-depth conversation about why or how a negative consequence occurs, a patient is more likely to give up or not stick with a regimented change. As we have discussed before, this directly correlates to understanding what matters to the patient and not just what is the matter with them. (link to previous blog post).
The following are strategies you can utilize to improve patient compliance:
- Keep up to date on various wellness programs available to your patients
- Follow up with patients regularly to monitor progress and provide educational opportunities
- Make sure they are appropriately educated during and after their doctor’s visits
- Surround them with education materials during down time in the waiting area, via interactive games, and more
- Have an open and honest discussion with your patient to truly understand what lifestyle changes they are prepared to make
There are considerable benefits to your facility by taking the time to educate yourself, your staff, and your patients.
- Increased Patient Engagement: An educated patient is more likely to listen to your advice and recommendations
- Increased Patient Satisfaction: Current patients will notice the efforts you and your team are putting into outcome improvement
- Decreased Readmissions: A healthier patient via education efforts will cost your facility less money in readmissions
Ultimately, patient compliance can be easier to achieve when you focus on patient buy-in and make it part of the culture at your healthcare facility. When approaching this concept with your own practice or team, ask yourself why patients should care about making proactive and purposeful changes, and ask yourself how you can make patient education as easy as possible.