In a world of “here, take this” mentality, encouraging patient adherence to nutrition and lifestyle strategies in their treatment plan is a typical theme during office visits. While we, as a culture, give lip-service to the value of making healthy changes to our dietary choices and lifestyle habits, most health seekers want to know “what can I take for that.” Change is hard; swallowing a pill, not so much.
As practitioners, we may feel like a broken record conveying the necessity of a healthy lifestyle for a foundation of health and wellness. Certainly, the use of supplementation and natural therapies are primary in our toolkits. But just as the frosting tops the cake, supplements are meant to complement any improvements to healthy living. It is typical for patients to view this in the reverse. “Can’t I just take something and I’ll work on my exercise?”
Perhaps we can use this to our advantage. Might including effective and quality supplementation in a treatment plan influence patients to adhere more strongly to dietary and other recommendations?
Four Steps to Improved Patient Adherence and Better Outcomes:
1. Choose supplements that provide relief
Systemic Enzyme Therapy is an excellent choice for improving patient outcomes. Systemic enzymes can provide targeted relief as well as whole body support. Chronic conditions often improved with the use of systemic enzyme supplementation include chronic pain, inflammation, fibrosis, painful scar tissue, immune system dysfunction, and decreased blood flow and circulation. Systemic enzymes can also be a natural alternative to NSAIDs.
2. “Prescribe”, not just recommend
Supplementing with a natural product (versus a pharmaceutical) may be seen as simply a suggestion by many patients. Semantics can make all the difference here. Simply using words like “prescribe” and “dosage” can influence a patient to take this part of the treatment plan more seriously. Providing them with a written schedule of when, how, and how much will ensure correct use and increase patient adherence as well. Consider using a pre-printed form to save you time and effort during the office visit.
3. Educate, before the internet does
Knowledge is power; misinformation can be dangerous. Understanding how a product is designed to work with and enhance the strategies of the overall treatment plan is vital. For example, emphasizing the synergy between changes in nutrition and enzyme supplementation to improve digestive issues may likely increase the odds of the patient following both recommendations. Systemic Enzyme Therapy has been shown to improve blood flow and circulation, improving a host of conditions as a result. These improvements require a healthy dietary pattern in order to continue. Why spend time, money, and energy on removing inflammation only to eat pro-inflammatory foods?
4. Visualize the outcome
Help the patient “see” the specific improvements that are possible. For example, if a patient is suffering from the pain and limitations of fibrosis, help them visualize the activity of the enzymes as they clear away excess fibrin and “eat away” non-living tissues. If the goal is to bring down blood pressure or improve the chronic condition of edema, paint the picture of a clear and free flowing blood vessel facilitated by systemic enzymes. Visualization is an excellent tool for encouraging patients to limit/avoid damaging foods while they heal.
Finally, keep a record of your patients’ progress…but in their own words. Consider using a Patient Goals Sheet for the patient to fill out and re-visit so they can chart and review their efforts. Encourage them to post their goals and commitments wherever they are likely to see them. Include their supplementation schedule – patient adherence is paramount to achieving the highest level of success with the treatment plan.
Effective and professional strength supplementation can often bridge the gaps in treatment plans when adherence is not where you would like it to be. Call us today at 800.548.2710 for a complimentary consultation on utilizing healthcare practitioner-exclusive supplements to improve patient outcomes and support the financial health of your practice.
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