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Patient Adherence

What is patient adherence?

Patient adherence is when a patient takes their medication as prescribed. It is a vital part of effective treatment, but healthcare providers must also be aware that patients don’t always adhere to their treatment plans. In fact, patient adherence is one of the biggest challenges in healthcare, as physicians cannot always ensure that patients take all their medication as prescribed.

Many issues may influence patient adherence, including:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Fear of side effects
  • Difficulty taking the medicine
  • Unconvinced of medicine’s effectiveness
  • Uncertainty if the medication is working
  • Cost of the medicine

How does patient adherence improve healthcare?

Patient adherence means the patient takes their medication as prescribed, giving them the best chance of fighting an infection or managing a health condition. Problems can arise if patients do not take their medications, including poorer quality of life or an increased risk of severe health complications.

mHealth is one healthcare trend that is improving patient adherence, with mobile apps available to remind patients to take their medication. Technologies like telehealth enable patients to quickly talk to a doctor if they have a concern about their medication.