While it’s fairly obvious that we’re in the midst of a major technological leap forward, it can be difficult to try to scrutinize these individual advancements on a case-by-case basis, especially within the scope of niche arenas. However, when taken apart and disseminated, it becomes more clear that humankind has made remarkable strides in recent years in promoting research and development – particularly when it comes to improving health outcomes across a diverse range of demographics.
Nevertheless, there still remains a few areas in which improvement can be justified in the medical sector, especially regarding the efficacy of the treatments and the patients’ compliance. Even with the concerted efforts of researchers rallying together to create novel treatments and medications and physicians prescribing these potential cures, there still exists the underlying issue of patients not following up on healthcare advice from their medical providers.
Fortunately, finding ways to help facilitate markedly improved diagnostics and healthcare treatments can benefit all parties involved. While it’s fair to state that doing so will necessitate a multifactorial approach, the onus should never be placed on just one specific individual. Yet, these improvements can become more noticeable by improving the quality of the medication itself and following up with patients following care.
Empowering the Patient
One of the more remarkable ways healthcare providers have found to help minimize complications in treatment is by shifting some of this responsibility onto the patients themselves. In the past, physicians (who were often multi-taskers moonlighting as healthcare providers) would advise patients on the best course of action for treatment and leave it at that. However, this often came with a lack of crucial information, leading to a potentially lethal combination of confusion and non-compliance.
These days, though, patients are being better armed with the necessary information required to help them better understand both their diagnosis and their possible outcome. This helps to minimize the likelihood of problems arising, as the patient is ideally less confused and more likely to understand why they’re being recommended a particular medication or course of treatment. In turn, improvements in health outcomes can be observed at a much greater frequency.
Increasing the Efficacy
Creating quality medications for the public is a combination of precise science and even a touch of artistry. In many instances, curating quality treatments requires more than a modicum of finesse and mandates exact precision in the manufacturing stages. This is true for name-brand and generic medications, as the carrier vehicle for the medication has been shown to influence the mechanism of action and its efficacy when taken.
Since medications oftentimes start in a manufacturing laboratory, this should be the first line of defense against inferior or sub-par treatments. Using exact measurements when combining the active ingredients can help prevent overdosing or inadvertent underdosing. Precise weighing scales can help when actives are dry, but methodically titrated liquid blending can help verify that any encapsulations or viscous solutions are as expected.
Avoiding the Non-Compliance
Finally, one of the more considerable issues that healthcare providers have faced when striving for good outcomes for their patients is the highly vexing issue of non-compliance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that patients are intentionally defying medical advice; rather, they may not fully understand why they are being given such recommendations. Another issue that can arise is not knowing the correct dosage or the dosing schedule itself.
There are a few ways this patient non-compliance can be approached. One way is to make sure the healthcare provider takes the time to carefully elaborate on all facets of the treatment and answer any existing questions they may have. Another approach may be to provide patients with clearly-labeled dosages and pill containers with day-of-the-week or hourly dosing information inscribed on them. This can help verify that the patient does not fail to take their medications as prescribed.
Improving the Outcome
As it stands, the burden of responsibility in making sure that patients get the care they deserve is something that rests on the shoulders of everyone involved. This should not be the exclusive duty of the drug manufacturers, the healthcare providers, or the patients themselves. Yet, by taking a collaborative approach to making these subtle changes, improved health outcomes for patients can be facilitated.
No doubt, the healthcare industry has made significant improvements in recent years, and this can be seen across the entire board. The quality of medications has been augmented, the healthcare from providers has grown more compassionate, and patients are becoming more educated about their own conditions and the recommended treatment alternatives available. And through this trifecta of improvement, we can all remain more confident that the future of healthcare will continue to advance.