Many doctors at healthcare units, hospitals and outpatient clinics are astonished their patients are not open about taking their prescribed medication. A recent research report shows that most patients only take their medicine as prescribed about half the time and are often unwilling to tell their physician while a quarter of new prescriptions are never filled.
Do remember that medication adherence is a growing concern among many healthcare facilities and systems, and non-adherence to it can lead to patient harm, increased costs of care and needless, time-consuming work for the practice.
One sound reason that experts give on this topic is that multiple diseases and multiple medications can lead to some patients not following their medical regimens. These experts are also examining why in an effort to help increase non-adherence rates that can reach 50% by some estimates. This scenario is same like medical billing and coding, where an error in charging leads to delay in reimbursement.
Do the patients fear side effects of medication?
Sometimes barriers to medication adherence are as simple as not liking the medication. Some adults may be averse to side effects that can be managed, and many pediatric patients struggle with meds that don’t taste good or are too big.
This strategy was helpful because physicians did this with the patient by his side. Developing this strategy read more like a conversation, which put the patient in the driver’s seat. If the patient had thought that the doctor is an enforcer of taking medication, it may not have been successful.
Although these problems are more prevalent in children, adult should also be aware of issues, specifically those surrounding pill size. Warning patients are asking about their preferences will be helpful.
Eventually, tactics to overcoming medication adherence barriers must be patient-centered. Most medication challenges are unique to the individual patient preferences. As such, providers need to use unique strategies to help patients.
Clinicians should start by identifying the patient’s challenge, and then work to overcome it. This will ideally result in better medication adherence and stronger overall patient wellness.
Physicians should come to terms with medication non-adherence
It is common for most doctors to assume that the most common reason for non-adherence is absent-mindedness or access/cost, but this accounts for a small part of non-adherence. General practitioners are often surprised to learn that most non-adherences are intentional based on personal beliefs. Understanding the justification behind their patient’s decision to not take their medication helps the care team better prepare for conversations to steer them towards adherence.
Too often the doctor’s reaction encourages the patient to conceal their non-adherence and when that happens, it is very dangerous because the doctor will think the blood pressure is resistant or their diabetes requires an additional medicine.
Due to this, the patient may be prescribed second and third meds when they are not taking the full dose of the first medicine. If adherence suddenly improves, for example upon hospital admission, blood pressure and glucose levels could drop precipitously.
Once doctors can understand how common non-adherence is among patients, they and their teams need to develop a blame-free environment to uncover it. The reasons patients don’t take their medicines are numerous, but it is important to make them feel comfortable sharing their true medication taking behavior.
Maintaining a perfect balance and attitude
The greatest challenge is first to change the attitudes of the health care team that works with you. Many physicians feel that they have completed their duty; their responsibility to the patient; by prescribing the appropriate medicine and feeling that it is now the sole responsibility of the patient to follow their advice.
Keep in mind that a doctor’s belief in the benefit of the therapy often exceeds the patient’s understanding of that benefit.
Knowing how effective the medicine is and how it saves lives, it’s very difficult for physicians to understand why someone wouldn’t take a medicine that would prevent a stroke or heart attack.
All in all as in medical billing, when get an error code you rectify it and pass on the claim for submission, same thing can be applied to medication non-adherence as well.