How do I deal with a non-compliant patient?
First, try to figure out why the patient is non-compliant. Most patients don’t simply decide to stop taking their meds or following their doctors orders “just because.” Maybe her health insurance recently expired or her income decreased. Maybe she had no way to get to the pharmacy. Maybe she’s the only one trying to eat healthfully in a house full of junk food.
So listen to your patient without judgment. Express a genuine concern for understanding her situation, and let her know that you’re interested in helping her find healthcare solutions that fit her lifestyle.
Once you understand your patient’s position, help her find positive solutions. If money is a problem, refer her to Social Services or ask her doctor about the possibility of free meds. Your hospital’s case managers can also help your patient connect with community services.
Brainstorm with your patient. Too often, we create healthcare prescriptions for patients without considering their lifestyle. If you’re trying to design a healthier menu plan, talk to your patient about the types of foods she like to eat, and incorporate them into a new eating plan. If forgetting to take her meds is an issue, but she has her cell phone on her all the time, consider one of the new text reminder systems.
Together with your patient, you should be able to find a workable solution.