The widespread phenomenon of lack of adherence to therapy renders many prescribed therapies ineffective with severe consequences for patients and extremely high costs for the National Health System.
Patient Support Programs improve the effectiveness of treatments by working closely with the patient, offering assistance and information with the objective of improving adherence to therapy and, consequently, improving the health and quality of life of the patient.
Improving adherence to therapy improves the effectiveness of treatments
According to studies conducted in Europe and in the United States, there is a very high percentage of patients that stop treatment early or do not properly adhere to prescribed treatment. There are many reasons for this, ranging anywhere from a lack of knowledge regarding the effects of medication to the medical condition of the patient. In the case of an elderly person, for example, it is difficult to obtain 100% adherence due to forgetfulness and misunderstandings. Even patients affected by chronic diseases are among the most problematic from this point of view. Frustrated from years of symptoms and treatments that produce severe and non-severe side effects, patients become passive and begin to lack trust in therapy, undermining the effectiveness of their course of treatment.
Patient Support Programs are useful in helping patients adhere to therapy, literally offering support, not only the patient, but for doctors and caregivers too.
Putting the patient at the center of treatment: The Patient Support Program solution
A Patient Support Program (PSP) consists in a series of personalized assistant services based on the specific needs of the patient. The patient is put at the center of the process and is involved and informed regarding the course of treatment. The fact that the patient is better prepared to follow the therapy consequently improves the effectiveness of the treatment. Every PSP is personalized based on the differences of each individual patient, yet all PSPs have common fundamental elements:
- The first step of a PSP is dialogue. Understanding the physical and mental state of the patient, focusing on their needs, dislikes and personality is fundamental to creating a personalized program.
- The patient’s physician is involved in deciding how to manage the patient’s course of treatment through a personalized approach to optimize adherence.
- PSP staff assists the patient throughout the treatment according to patient preferences (i.e. home visits, phone calls, text messages, App alerts).
- PSPs also tends to greatly reduce the number of visits a patient must make at a hospital or clinic, guaranteeing assistance in their own home.
- PSP staff is ready to respond to the requests and concerns of the patient even 24 hours a day.
These procedures guarantee the patient more serenity and greater awareness throughout the course of treatment, activating a mechanism whereby the patient is more motivated and, thus, adheres to therapy with more precision. The effect of all this are better overall results, and when patients observe how effective therapy can be, they are even more motivated to adhere even more diligently than before.
Doctors and caregivers benefit as well from PSPs. Doctors receive frequent updates and know that their patient is being constantly followed while caregivers have a lighter burden to bear, for example, making less trips to the hospital.
In conclusion, patients who are actively involved in their course of treatment and are adequately followed in accordance to their needs, demonstrate greater adherence to therapy, increasing also the effectiveness of the treatment- a concept Domedica put into practice 10 years ago when it began the first Patient Support Programs in Italy. Today Domedica continues to pursue even more personalized and effective solutions for its patients.
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