It’s only a recommendation

WSJ Health Blog:

More than a quarter of Americans who take prescription drugs have skipped doses, split pills or cut other corners to save money in the last year, according to a new study by Consumer Reports.

When a patient leaves a physician’s office or is discharged from a hospital, they leave with what is essentially a recommendation for the continuation of care. It might be a prescription, or behavior change, or therapy, or a follow-up appointment, among many other possibilities. But the important part here is that they leave with a recommendation, albeit a strong one.

For a variety of reasons (money being only one) patients choose to either follow those recommendations or not. Not following the doctor’s orders usually means adverse outcomes. A major failing of the healthcare system (and a giant opportunity) is the lack of assistance these systems’ provide in helping patients implement those recommendations.

There is certainly work being done in this arena. And there is certainly more that could be done.

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