Patient Compliance and Patient Education

Define patient compliance and explain its importance in your field. Compliance refers to a patient’s ability and willingness to follow medical advice. Compliance is important to all fields of medicine as it is a direct reflection of the doctor’s ability to communicate with the patient and to create some form of bond which will facilitate a measure of cooperation. Additionally, non-compliance hinders patient recovery and increases the need for further, more advanced treatment (Rothenberg 16).

(2) Identify the health care professional’s role in compliance and give examples of ways in which the health care professional may actually contribute to non-compliance. To achieve higher rates of compliance, health care professionals need to effectively communicate with patients to ensure they understand what they need to do and why. According to the American College of Physicians, 86% of patients do not understand the instructions they receive regarding their medications. This leads to failure to take medication properly and subsequent increases in avoidable complications and can contribute to accidental overdose (1).

(3) Compare compliance and collaboration. Collaboration, on the other hand, refers to a joint effort from all involved health care professionals, from physicians to nurses to dieticians, working closely with the patient and their family to improve the quality of care and communication, thus increasing comprehension and decreasing preventable future complications. (4) Compare and contrast patient education in the past with that practiced today. In the past, patient education was a largely ignored. Authoritarian doctors used esoteric language and paid little attention to the patient’s sense of responsibility or independence.

These days, the main goal of patient education is to improve overall treatment results by giving the patient a reasonable amount of information regarding the problem, actively promoting healthy lifestyle choices and recovery, and involving patients and their family in health care decisions. (5) Explain the importance of professional commitment in developing patient education as a clinical skill. A greater emphasis needs to be placed on developing patient education skills. In “How to Facilitate Better Patient Compliance”, Dr.

Gary Rothenberg states, “When we give patients all the necessary information, they can make the best decision for themselves based on their own needs, circumstances and expectations. ” (18) Patients who understand what’s going on and feel involved in the process are more likely to be compliant. (6) Explain the three categories of learning and how they can be used in patient education. There are three different styles to learning: auditory, visual, and tactile. In a patient education situation auditory learners benefit from open discussion and talking things out, while visual learners will gain more information from pictures or diagrams.

Tactile learners can benefit from the use of models which they can physically manipulate. (7) List three problems that may arise in patient education and how they would be solved? Three common problems in patient education are: patients failing to understand what they’ve been told, patients being given regimes that are too complex, and giving instructions that are vague or imprecise. When participating in patient education, make sure you use jargon free, non-technical language. Place care instructions in the order in which they should be preformed and reinforce this information with a role-play situation (Falvo 185).

(8) List some methods of documentation of patient education. Patient education can be documented with tally sheets which list everything that was discussed with the patient. Alternatively, patients could be asked to read a set of instructions or a pill card out loud to verify their understanding. A predetermined number of flyers or brochures containing relevant information could be placed near the patient waiting area. A weekly count of flyers would provide a concrete number of patient education opportunities. Works Cited

American College of Physicians. “Patient compliance: The missing link to medication Safety. ” ACP Online. Patient compliance. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from http://www. acponline. org/ptsafety/pat_compliance. htm. Falvo D, Woehlke P, Deichmann J. “Relationship of physician behavior to patient compliance. ” Patient Counseling and Health Education. (1980):2:185-188 Rothenberg, G. “Diabetes watch: How to facilitate better patient compliance. ” Podiatry Today, (2003):16(6), 16-18. Retrieved March 15, 2009 from http://www. podiatrytoday. com/article/1612

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