Patient adherence to treatment remains a critical challenge in healthcare, impacting outcomes, disease management, and overall patient well-being. Research has shown that only about 50% of patients adhere to their prescribed treatments, particularly for chronic conditions. leading to adverse effects, disease exacerbation, and increased healthcare costs.
The World Health Organization proposes that a major factor affecting adherence is the provider-patient relationship Furthermore, numerous empirical studies from various populations and settings link patient treatment adherence to physician-patient communication. According to a meta-analysis published in the Medical Care journal, there is a 19% higher risk of non-adherence among patients experiencing poor communication with their physician1.
Consequently, time between follow-up visits creates a disconnect between the patient and provider, therefore minimizing communication across the span of the patient’s healthcare journey. This can limit opportunities to facilitate timely support, interventions, and encouragement, especially during challenging periods of treatment. Creating a solution to bridge the communication gap and cultivate patient engagement can drive optimal outcomes and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Fortunately, with the advent of digital technologies, the landscape of patient communication has undergone a transformative shift. Digital tools offer a plethora of opportunities to revolutionize how healthcare professionals and patients interact, communicate, and collaborate. Many physicians are now leveraging digital platforms and remote monitoring tools to facilitate real-time interactions between patients, thereby enhancing patient engagements outside of the traditional provider environment.
Perigon Health 360, a leader in digital health, has developed a remote therapy management platform centered around promoting successful patient adherence. The company’s innovative platform, Medesto, consolidates remote monitoring services into one portal and simplifies the complex task of connecting medication dispensing devices and physiological devices for a 360 view of the patient’s health. These tools, along with the Medesto mobile health app, offer both the patient and provider a window into critical health insights affecting adherence, while offering a conduit for ongoing communication.
Through Medesto’s comprehensive remote therapy management capabilities, physicians now have unprecedented opportunities to engage, educate, and connect with their patients on a deeper level. By utilizing Medesto, patients and physicians can reap the benefits of the Five Communication Pillars for effective adherence:
Trust and Empathy:
Trust is the foundation of any successful patient-provider relationship. Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment when they trust their healthcare providers and feel that their concerns are heard and acknowledged. Effective communication, characterized by empathy and active listening, allows healthcare providers to understand patients’ needs and perspectives fully.
Communication serves as a conduit for patient education, allowing healthcare providers to explain medical conditions, treatment options, and potential outcomes in a clear and understandable manner. When patients are well-informed about their health and treatment, they can make informed decisions and actively participate in their care. Educated patients are more likely to adhere to treatment recommendations, as they recognize the benefits and rationale behind each step.
Addressing Barriers to Adherence:
Patients often face practical and psychological barriers to adherence, such as complex treatment regimens, financial constraints, or fear of side effects. Open communication provides an opportunity for patients to express their concerns and seek clarification, allowing healthcare providers to address these barriers proactively. By understanding the challenges patients encounter, providers can work collaboratively to find solutions and adapt treatment plans to fit the patient’s lifestyle and preferences.
Tailored Treatment Plans:
Every patient is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment may not be effective for everyone. Effective communication enables healthcare providers to assess individual patient needs, preferences, and goals. By tailoring treatment plans to align with the patient’s circumstances, providers can significantly enhance patient adherence. Furthermore, personalized treatment plans can also increase patient engagement and satisfaction, leading to improved compliance.
Motivation and Support:
Positive and supportive communication can have a profound impact on patient motivation. Encouraging patients throughout their treatment journey, acknowledging their efforts, and celebrating milestones can boost morale and inspire a sense of accomplishment. Patients who feel supported and cared for by their healthcare providers are more likely to remain committed to their treatment plans.
The undeniable connection between patient adherence and effective communication highlights the importance of fostering robust patient-provider relationships. As communication tools continue to evolve in the healthcare landscape, Medesto plays a pivotal role in creating a patient-centric healthcare environment where patients feel supported, empowered, and motivated to actively participate in their healthcare journey and achieve optimal outcomes.