Pharmacists and other health-care providers looking for practical ways to help their patients stay on track with medications have been served up some new food for thought by a work group on compliance.
A comprehensive set of more than 60 Recommendations for Action to Advance Prescription Medicine Compliance has been released by the National Council on Patient Information & Education to deal with a serious public health problem. The recommendations cover such issues as the need to individualize patient compliance interventions, document and monitor compliance and noncompliance, improve communication skills of health professionals during initial training and through continuing education, and improve communication among health providers about individual patient compliance and techniques that work.
"Medication noncompliance is a persistent, but solvable, public health problem," said Paul C. Rogers, NCPIE chairman. "Improving medicine compliance requires both a commitment to action and collaboration among all healthcare providers, managed care, patients, caregivers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. These Recommendations provide practical steps for each member of the medicine compliance team, and suggestions for research to better understand the dynamics and behavioral aspects of noncompliance."
Suggestions for ways pharmacists can boost compliance include the following:
* Become proactive about gathering and providing medicine information. Ask questions that stimulate dialogue, discuss care plans with patients, and use information about patients to make better decisions.