Did you know that around half the patients that receive medication from their doctors don’t actually take them as prescribed? This is a major problem simply because following the prescription is vital to ensure the medication does its job with minimal negative effects! Unfortunately, the fact is that life can throw a curveball, and our patients may find it a challenge to take it exactly according to the doctor’s prescription.
So, as a doctor, how do you increase the likelihood that your patients take their medications as prescribed? Here are a few strategies you can try out:
1. Understand What’s Causing Patients to Be Non-adherent
Most of the time, patients aren’t non-adherent to medications prescribed because they do not want to comply. It’s because they’re not able to do so. Sometimes, the side effects associated with medications are too much to handle, the medications can be expensive to buy, or the patients simply have a busy schedule and don’t feel like they have the time to take their medication as prescribed.
As such, work with your patients to understand what’s causing them to be non-adherent, and work with them to come up with a solution that makes it easier for them to be compliant.
2. Look for Ways to Make Their Medications Easier to Take
Different people are more comfortable with different medication delivery methods. Some people prefer tablets, while there are others who would rather take them in liquid form. Some find it easier to use a patch, transdermal patch, or transdermal spray.
When talking to your patients about their medications, work with them to identify a delivery method that suits them the best. This could be through identifying a different dosage form or the use of an alternative delivery method!
3. Make Sure That Patients Know What to Do in Case They Miss a Dose
No one’s perfect, and sometimes, even the best of us can forget to take our medications. As such, it’s crucial that patients know what to do in case they miss a dose. For example, they should know they should take their next dose within 12 hours of the missed dose, or they should skip it entirely.
Upon knowing this, your patients won’t end up panicking and taking medication in a way that’s unsuitable and even dangerous. For instance, upon missing a dose, they might take a double dosage to compensate, which can lead to heightened side effects. Letting them know what to do if they miss a dose avoids such a problem!
4. Implement Technologies to Support Compliance
Medication compliance isn’t always about the patient’s own motivation and self-control. Sometimes, it’s about your capacity and willingness to support your patients.
For instance, you can use technology to make it easier for your patients to track their medication cycles. You can also schedule check-in meetings with your patients over a call and the like, where you can check in on their adherence levels. You can even have them set the alarm to remind them of an upcoming dose to take or implement automatic pill dispensers to let them know they should take it!
Really, there are many tech solutions out there that support compliancy, so check out what solutions are available to you and your patients.
Non-adherent patients are a big challenge for the medical profession today. However, the good news is that there are many ways you can use to ensure that your patients are taking their medications as prescribed. Take some time out to consider these four strategies that we’ve shared, and try to implement them in your practice!
Medistics offers care management services to help doctors save time, increase patient engagement, and overall deliver a better experience. If you are looking for remote patient monitoring solutions to ensure your patients follow their prescriptions and more, check out what solutions we can offer to you!