If a person has a physical problem, the doctor prescribes him a course of treatment. For example, if someone has diabetes that person will have to follow a diet and exercise regime. Whoever suffers from Crohn’s disease, will have to take medication.
However, these treatments are not always followed up properly. In this case, we refer to poor treatment compliance or bad compliance. There are many reasons why patients do not follow their prescribed treatments:
Exactly because of this poor compliance, people recover less quickly or they suffer more illness than is necessary. That is a pity, not only for the patients themselves but also for their surroundings, for society that invests a great deal of money into effective health care and for doctors who only want the best for their patients.
Recently, a well-known Belgian cardiologist said on this subject, “We should not be wasting our energy in trying to invent new and more powerful medication. We should instead be doing everything to ensure that heart patients take their medicine correctly”.
The aim of coaching patients is to help sick people to adhere to their recommended treatment properly. This coaching can occur in various ways: by ringing people up and motivating them, by guiding them through e-mails, by telling them about the risks they run if they do not follow their treatment, etc.
Our Western health care system is facing a number of major challenges:
These facts make it increasingly clear that our health care will have to change drastically in the future. This means that we will have to look for other ways to take care of ill people as best we can. The main player in caring for patients will of course always be the doctor. However, the doctor can allow others to be responsible for a number of branches. Coaching patients to increase treatment compliance is an example of this. In the Anglo-Saxon countries and in Scandinavia this is already the case. And with success. In Belgium, this is not done often enough. Interalis wants to change this situation.
Using good coaching programmes, everyone comes out on top:
Patient coaching can take on various forms. Below is a summary:
The present range on offer in Belgium is mainly limited to offering information via websites. Here the emphasis is mainly on increasing patient knowledge. However, just providing information is not enough. For instance, most obese heart patients are only too aware that they have to lose weight but they do not manage to do this. Aspects that are often ignored in coaching include a change in attitude, increasing self-sufficiency, increasing motivation, looking for strategies to maintain changes in behaviour etc. Apart from an increase in knowledge, these aspects are just as important for a change in behaviour.
Interalis believes that effective coachingprograms must focus on all of these aspects, … not only one!
How do you do that? Well, that’s the expertise of Interalis.