Case Management

Tip: Understand the implications of patient compliance

Case Management Weekly, March 14, 2012

The evidence is clear: patient adherence rates, particularly with medications, are low.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as many as 50% of patients fail to take medication correctly. A study commissioned in the United States by the National Community Pharmacists Organization showed that three out of four patients failed to take their medications as directed.

The problem is pervasive. Patients of all ages, genders, levels of education, and socio-economic status fail to comply with medication regimes. Meanwhile, healthcare professionals struggle to understand patient compliance, or more accurately, the reasons for compliance.

Healthcare policy attempts to create a new vision and broad strategies. The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) released a national education plan for improving patient adherence to prescribed medications.

The following actions are included in the recommendations:

  • The establishment of multidisciplinary Medication Education Teams, which recognize the patient as the center of the process
  • The removal of government regulations that inhibit adherence to promotion programming
  • The assessment of literacy and the implementation of intervention strategies

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) advocates that, “Questions are the Answer” in improving healthcare for consumers. The consumer section of their Web page lists the top 10 questions to ask when receiving healthcare and offers the consume a tool for building a personal question list.

This week’s tip is adapted from Reducing Readmissions: A Blueprint for Improving Care Transitions, published by HCPro, Inc.

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