The Patient Compliance Alliance
Patient compliance with treatment guidelines requires a strong alliance between the patient and the care team. Here’s what your care team can do to improve patient compliance:
Know the patient — Establishing rapport between clinical care teams and the patient is an essential component to adherence to treatment guidelines. How well do you know the patient’s cultural, personal and spiritual preferences, value system, and health beliefs?
Ready the patient — Is the patient ready for the treatment option? Do they understand it? Is the patient confident they can follow the recommendations on their own? Does the patient have the resources needed to comply with the treatment guidelines once they leave the clinic?
Know the patient a little bit better — Does your team know the patient’s potential barriers to the following the treatment guidelines?
- Frequency of visits or treatments is challenging — getting to and from the appointments
- Patient skeptical of treatment (i.e. only works for a while, tolerance, long-term safety…)
- High cost of co-pays, co-insurances or deductibles
- Perceived lack of access with the care team when concerns arise
If so, what are some solutions your team can offer?
Make solutions scalable — Tailoring the message to each person and their condition can be done using communication templates (e.g. mass customization) and include:
- Linking the treatment history with the primary condition
- Providing easy access to FAQ’s and patient education materials
- Providing contact information and contact criteria (also include criteria in FAQ’s)
- Identifying resources for financial hardship, transportation or other barriers
Recognize adherence red-flags — Watch for:
- Patient history of non-compliance with other treatments
- History of being late or no-showing for appointments
- Inability to pay balances for care
- Patient displays of negative or abusive behavior
Reinforce the good — Reward adherence to guidelines with objective positive feedback and have consequences for non-compliance written into your patient policies and agreements.
Forming a “compliance alliance” with your patients is a great way to impact patient outcomes — one patient at a time!