Physical Therapy Software Easy Patient Education

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Does Shannon need to show her patients more information so they’ll adhere to their treatment programs?

“Shannon? The sitter’s here!”

Shannon grabbed her purse and gave her hair a last touch. Her husband was dressed and ready, the kids were already engrossed in a game with the sitter, and she was looking forward to some time with her husband — no kids, no work, just the two of them. Except”¦

“What’s going on?” Mike asked. “You seem preoccupied.”

“I am,” Shannon admitted. “I wasn’t going to bring it up, since this is the first date we’ve had in weeks–“

“It’ll be more like a date if you tell me about it,” Mike said. “That’s what single people do, right? Talk about what’s going on in their lives?” He opened the car door for his wife and closed it after her.

Shannon waited for Mike to take his place next to her. “I’m not sure I can remember what single people do,” she said. “But I would like to tell you about an issue at work. In two words: non-compliant patients.”

“I don’t think that’s just at your work. I heard about that on the radio today. They said it was an epidemic,” Mike observed. He cocked his head. “That’s another thing single people do — talk about current events!”

“This definitely qualifies. I’ve heard that even with something as simple as taking prescribed medication, fewer than half of patients in studies actually follow through. In one study where they asked people, 75% admitted that they didn’t follow their doctors’ orders.”

“The radio program said that non-compliant patients cost $290 billion dollars every year. I don’t know where they got the figures, but I can believe it,” Mike said. “I mean, if patients don’t follow through with their treatments, the treatments are bound to be less effective, so the patients end up needing more care.”

Shannon agreed. “And those figures I mentioned are just about taking pills, which is easy. We ask our clients to do things that are harder, like doing exercises or showing up for treatments several times a week even though those treatments might be uncomfortable.”

“You ask for lifestyle changes, too. Speaking of which, I think this is as close as we can park, so we’ll be getting a bit of a walk this evening.”

“It’s a beautiful evening! I’ll enjoy a walk. But you’re right. It’s easier to stay on the couch — even though clients who follow through are happier with their results. And need I add that the staff will also be happier and our reputation will benefit?”

“So what’s the solution?”

“Tana thinks we should have strict policies and drop people who skip sessions, but I’d rather start with education.”

Mike took Shannon’s arm and guided her up the stairs. “Isn’t that what you already do?”

“In some ways, but I think we might need better tools. In my experience, people who really understand their bodies and how the treatment will help are more likely to follow through. But a lot of people are pretty fuzzy on anatomy. We might think we’re explaining completely clearly, but if we don’t think about it, we might be using words that make complete sense to us and not to the clients.”

“Skeletons all over the room?”

“We need them to have muscles,” Shannon pointed out. “And maybe posters — but I’d really like to be able to send a picture home so the patients get support from their families, too. You know the way the kids bring home stuff from their teachers for us to put on the fridge? If they relied on the kids, we might have a very incomplete idea of what they were learning.”

“I like your idea, even if talking about the kids spoils the illusion of being single people.”

Shannon and Mike took their seats. “No kids, no work — till after the show, at least.”

Does Shannon need to show her patients more information so they’ll adhere to their treatment programs?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.