Patients want to trust that what you are telling them is correct. They want to believe that your numerous years in medical school, your residency and your clinical experience enables you to make their lives better.While they may have confidence in your abilities, they may lack confidence in the medicine you are prescribing. And if they aren’t sure the medicine will help them, they are likely to avoid taking it as prescribed.
Boosting patient confidence in medicine can be done by taking several actions. Keep reading to learn what you can do to reassure your patients, so they will remain compliant with their treatment plan.
1. Educate Patients – Knowledge leads to confidence.
Typically, patients are given very brief instructions on how to take their prescribed medications. What physicians may not realise is that patients are often nervous during their visit. They recognize they have very limited time with you and they want to absorb as much information as possible.However, what often happens is they miss a great deal of the information you provide.
Educating a patient should include you giving them information and instructions regarding their medication, all their medication, not just one. As you know, many patients take multiple prescriptions.
Once you give instructions, have the patient repeat back to you what they understood from your instructions. You may be surprised at how many patients are not able to remember all your instructions. If this is the case, repeat your instructions until you know the patient fully understands what to do. Knowledge leads to confidence. The more educated your patient is, the more confident they will be that their medication is necessary.
2. Communicating Progress
Patients may recognize that they feel better mentally or physically. But they may not be connecting their improvement with the medication your prescribed. They may think it is related to something else, like diet or exercise or other life changes.
Too often, patients will quit taking their medication when they begin to feel better. They think they no longer need the medication. This may be because you are not communicating with them about the elements of their progress. Start contacting your patients, not only when there are negative results, but also when there are positive results. Reiterate to them that because they are taking their medication, their health is improving. Tell them exactly how it is improving.
3. Prepackaged Medication – Improving patient adherence with medication.
The more you can do to make taking prescriptions easy for your patients, the better results they will see, and the more confidence they will gain in taking medication. You can make taking their prescriptions easy by using medication that is packaged in the simplest form. Prepackaged medication is an example of this.
With pre-packaged medicines, patients do not have to wonder if they have taken their medicines or not. The packaging tells them. This system keeps a person on track with their medicine schedule, allowing them to experience the full benefits of the medicines prescribed to them. Calendarized blister packaging is becoming very popular. It has shown great improvements in patient outcomes. With specific dates on the packaging, patients know exactly when to take their medicine. Instructions are also provided as to when to call for refills.
As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a study showed pre-packaged medicines with reminders had a positive effect on both patient adherence and outcomes.
ProficientRx, (2018) Boosting Patient Confidence in Medicine. Available at: https://proficientrx.com/patient-confidence-medicine/ [Accessed 16 March 2021].