You need to implement strategies to help your patients to remember and follow their treatment plan. Read more from this blog.
FACT: many patients struggle with sticking to the care or treatment plan developed for their eye care needs. It’s very common, and it’s not hard to tell if your patients are diligently following your professional recommendations or not.
Oftentimes, you will meet the same patient after two or three years, and they complain of a much worse issue all because the eye problem you’ve earlier diagnosed was left untreated. There are many factors behind why patients forego and forget to follow their eye care treatment plan, and it could be any reasons between poor commitment to eye care, busy schedule, insufficient budget, major life events, other health issues, and many more.
To address this problem, you will need to start implementing strategies to help your patients be more compliant and help them benefit from such treatment plans.
Education and awareness.
One of the main issues is that people will not immediately realise the seriousness of their situation. Naturally, you would want them to feel hopeful about their case, but that hopefulness should not come from ignorance. Be sure to discuss how not following through with the treatment plan set in place could result in further damage or loss of vision. Especially in cases where there is no physical pain involved, giving those warnings and helping patients understand the importance of after-care could make a big difference in how seriously they take it.
To educate your patients, you can also use visual material to help drive the issues you are explaining further. Visual representations are always easier for the brain to understand, so they are excellent motivators for people struggling to understand the problems that could arise from not sticking to their treatment plan.
Encourage them to learn more about their vision problem. If you have reading materials and other resources that you can forward to your patients, that is good as well. Ask your patients to follow you on social media and post tips and easy-to-understand information about vision care there. Be a credible source of knowledge when it comes to eye care.
Get your patients involved.
When designing a treatment plan, ask more questions about your patient’s lifestyle, activities, and priorities. By focusing on creating a plan that could easily fit into their day-to-day life, you effectively eliminate many of the barriers that would stop them from following your advice. While not all treatment plans can be easily adapted to fit someone’s lifestyle, alterations, when possible, could be the difference between following or not the proposed plan.
Let your patients know that should they start to think that the treatment plan is becoming challenging to follow, they need to contact you again or visit your practice for another discussion. The “how” may change, but what should be guaranteed is that the revised treatment plan works towards mending or properly managing their vision problem.
Give them written instructions.
Nothing works better than easy-to-understand and simple written instructions. Often, the things you speak about during your session may be forgotten, but the written guidance will remind patients of the steps they need to take in their after-care plan. You can either provide a physical document or an email. Always keep a record of your care note so it is easy to send your patient a copy should they need it.
When going through the steps, make sure to emphasise how each step is vital for treating their case. This will help them make clearer connections between what is needed and why it is needed.
Book a follow-up appointment.
If you are concerned that your patient might forget when to visit you again, do not let them leave without attempting to book them for a follow-up appointment. Once the next appointment is booked, your practice can send them a reminder through email or an SMS message, or you can even call them.
It is also good to ask your patient how and when they want to be contacted. Are they easier to reach through a call? Is it best to call them after office hours as they may be usually busy during the earlier part of the day? Be very flexible for them, so they don’t see you as a bother. Instead, you become a very considerate and accommodating ally in health care; hence, they will be more obedient and friendly towards you too.
Indeed, there are other ways to help your patients stick to a treatment plan, and we can discuss more in another blog. Do you have some tips to share about this topic? If yes, message us here. You can also email us at email@example.com. Thank you for reading!