Patient compliance is crucial for great outcomes
Everyone who works in healthcare knows about the importance of patient compliance. The more diligent patients are about following their prescribed treatment, the better results they’ll get. The tricky part for many orthodontists and dentists is how to maximize patient compliance. Here are a few things you can do in your practice to address this important topic:
Patient education and compliance
It’s no secret that patient education is a critical part of all treatment. In the orthodontic world, this covers everything from proper brushing and flossing to maintenance of braces and aligners. While patients know what they should be doing, many still struggle to follow through with it on a consistent basis. Effective education focuses not just on the what, but also on the why.
It is also important to be able to offer education in different formats. Paper handouts tend to get buried or lost, so it is helpful to have digital alternatives, like e-documents and video, that your patients can access online. If they can always “plug in” for the answers, compliance will go way up!
“The vast majority of Americans – 96% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 81%”
– 2019 Pew Research Center
Since so many people own a smartphone, it only makes sense to take advantage of this to improve patient compliance. The simplest way to do this is to have your patients use the built-in calendar and clock apps in their phones to set reminders, but there are other apps available that they can use for this as well. Some of your patients may already be using something like this for reminders to take their medications.
Have a support system
Whether it’s remembering to perform proper orthodontic care or any other new habit or practice, research consistently shows how important it is to have support and accountability. Regular encouragement from family, friends, and you, their doctor, can go a long way in helping to develop healthy habits that will last.
Just like using electronic reminders, this support doesn’t have to be complicated: a quick check-in every now and then provides support and also helps to strengthen the patient-doctor relationship. When patients know that you care, they are even more likely to follow your prescribed treatment.
Maximize patient compliance by combining all of the above
The AlignFlow™ patient app allows you to provide all of the above for improved patient compliance. Features include the ability to prescribe daily care and reminders to perform it, measure their compliance with this, provide multimedia patient education resources, and have the ability to communicate back and forth with them through the app with pictures, text, and video. Patients love how easy it is to use and doctors love being able to track their patient’s progress in real time.