Burden of treatment – the path to poor treatment fidelity

Focusing on the patients’ experience of treatment may lead to a new understanding as to why some patients cannot, despite their willingness and knowledge, follow treatment recommendations.  Our team is exploring the aspects of treatments that may constitute treatment burden.  Do you have some ideas?

For instance, in the United States, patients may need to spend time on the phone, sending letters and faxes, and waiting for responses to obtain new medications, refill other ones, and deal with denials of coverage by their insurer.

Are there ways in which the healthcare professionals can help patients by providing adequate assistance and by modifying the regimen to minimize this form of treatment burden?  How would they know if they have been successful?  Who are the professionals best suited for this work?  Social workers, pharmacists, lifestyle coaches, nurses, and physicians working in teams alongside the patient and their caregivers?  Utopia?  No, we think this is reality just around the corner.  Can minimally disruptive medicine teams positively improve the value of healthcare delivery?  What are your thoughts?

One very astute opinion leader, Gary Oftedahl, is finding this compelling.  Read his blog here.  He notes:

If we in health care are unable to make simple changes in workflows or processes within our care delivery systems, how can we expect our patients to make often complex, and complicated changes, which disrupt a life-long pattern of activity?

What do you think?

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