Friday, November 18, 2011

Compliance and the Doctor

It is a well known fact that patients often don't fill their prescriptions or even take the medicine if they do fill them. That is what makes it so insane to "grade" doctors depending on their patients' cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar average, etc.  In a study involving patients who had a recent heart attack, only half of them took the statin, beta blocker and aspirin recommended.  Even better, the medications were given to the pateints for......FREE!!!!!!!  Maybe this is a problem with communication?  I doubt it as this was a study and they have more time to explain things and educate the participants.  Maybe this is a cultural issue?  Who knows but to give "quality" grades to doctors that depend on patients' compliance is like basing an educational system where teachers are paid depending on what tests scores the students achieve.  Who is crazy enough to do that?

We are heading towards "No Patient Left Behind" which will fail miserably.

4 comments:

Pat said...

In residency, do you remember giving BAGS of free meds to your patients, and spoon-feeding them instructions, coaxing, wheedling, and pleading them to take them as directed, only to have them blow it?

Do you remember your charity, elderly, or just plain apathetic patients saying they forgot, or only remembered to take a BP or diabetes pill "when I feel bad?"

That's what I remember, reading this piece, and shaking my head at the futility of big-care-hug solutions in the face of human nature.

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I was once a doctor's secretary before. I have learned the importance of compliance to the medications and following doctor's instructions. Thanks a lot.


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