Just Shut Up and Take It

The title is exactly what I wish I could say to patients some time, but since I generally try not to come across as an a**whole I avoid using that phrase. One of the biggest things that make patients repeat offenders for office visits and hospital re-admittance is therapy non-compliance. As a result of this many patient education opportunities are created and mandated across the board as well as the development of many patient out reach programs.

I can’t site any specific examples from the perspective of a physician or physical rehab specialist, but I have a couple of pharmacy specific examples to share.

First is that of a friends grandmother. She had a thyroid issues and was prescribed levothyroxine. She would take the medication for a few days and when she returned to her normal self would stop taking the medication until she got sick again and then would be taken to the doctors only to figure out that she was not taking her medication. This cycle happened a few times until her doctor threatened to cut her from services due to non-compliance. Then it just turned into a constant battle for the family getting her to take the medication.

Second was a more recent non-compliance issue. On regular basis a patient comes in to have their blood pressure checked. We share the data with her physician on a regular basis and said patient also keeps their own record. From the infrequent times that I have entered the blood pressure information into the medical record myself it is not well controlled. The patient has started blood pressure medication since the beginning of the year but there was little improvement. We had just recently learned that the patient, “doesn’t really believed in taking medication.” Yet upon checking records has been filling it on time without question so there is most likely a stock pile of medication at their home. One of the many daily WTF moments, but share worthy none the less.

I could wax on about other non-compliance issues, but let me put a point on this. At the end of the day it is up to the individual to realize what is best for themselves and then follow through on it. There is a surplus of education opportunities they just have to be taken advantage of.


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