According to the World Health Organization, lack of doctor-patient communication is one of the biggest reasons for patient noncompliance.
Many doctors struggle with getting patients to follow through with procedures, take prescribed medication, or maintain recommended physical therapy protocols.
The lack of patient compliance increases the financial burden of public health on society. Patients who do not follow through with recommended procedures and treatments see increased health issues over time, subsequently increasing healthcare costs.
Healthcare providers who consistently see a lack of patient follow-through in their practices will see a decrease in revenue from lost reimbursements, fewer positive outcomes, and negative impacts on reputation.
How is this problem solved?
One clinical study found that implementing interventions focused on patient education and clerical follow-up, result in better compliance.
This study found that patients who received more careful education and engagement better understood their diagnosis and recommended treatment, and were more likely to return for a checkup and follow through with treatment plans.
What tools can healthcare providers use to increase patient education and understanding?
Taking advantage of technology patients use every day is an excellent way to improve patient engagement and understanding.
“Patients regularly use technology to help manage many aspects of their lives,” says Jonathan Slotkin, MD. “If we can add healthcare to the list of other items they use technology for, we have a better chance of engaging them and increasing care adherence.”
Mobile applications provide excellent tools for healthcare providers to implement with their patients. Many of these apps are used within the clinical setting as educational tools that then allow information to be sent home with patients electronically. Continued access to this material ensures that patient understanding extends beyond the clinical setting and is retained once patients return home.
Mobile apps have several benefits that other educational tools do not provide.
Many apps allow doctors to check up on patients and monitor outcomes without the requirement of a physical visit, saving both time and money. Doctors can automatically send surveys and checkups directly to a patient’s email or phone without interrupting their daily workflow.
Adding the convenience of automated follow up allows doctors to easily keep a finger on the pulse of their practice and decreases the likelihood that a patient will be lost along the continuum of care.
Apps provide a mobile benefit as well. Information can be accessed on the go right from a patient’s phone. They allow patients to modify settings to include daily reminders to complete various tasks, wherever they are. This could include steps to prepare for surgery, taking medication, or completing a home exercise program, something a physical handout could not achieve.
In addition, mobile and web applications provide a financial advantage. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of physical brochures and educational props, making them a great money-saving option.
“Apps provide an immense number of opportunities, and are an important part of making medical care mobile and improving wellness and patient engagement,” says Cynthia Ambres, MD.
Replacing outdated educational tools with innovative technology is the best way to improve patient education and follow-through of recommended treatment.
Schedule a demo today to learn how Orca Health’s patient education and engagement tools can help you increase patient compliance and improve health outcomes.