Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many patients are avoiding hospital visits or doctors’ appointments. This may have a negative effect on treatment adherence, which can increase the risk of diseases worsening and significantly increase the costs incurred by society and health care services in the future. Patient support programmes can markedly improve patients’ treatment adherence.
Treatment adherence is an identified challenge within health care. Adherence is often high at the beginning of treatment but decreases along the way. Reasons for this may include the patient’s improved condition, which may lead them to think that the medication is no longer necessary, human errors in taking the medicine regularly, problems with using medical devices, or adverse effects experienced by the patient.
“With patient support programmes, we are able to assist patients in many ways. For example, we provide individual counselling over the phone or remind patients to take their medicines. In Sweden, our nurses can also help patients in their home environment, for example with injectable medications which saves health care resources and the patients’ time,” says Patrik Åvestrand, Director of Oriola's Pharma Expert Services.
Patient support programmes improve cooperation between patients, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies
Due to the coronavirus, many patients suffering from chronic or serious diseases have isolated themselves in their homes. A lack of individual counselling can cause significant challenges for treatment success.
“Knowledge is the key to successful treatment. Giving patients and their families answers to even their smallest questions is an easy and effective way to reduce unnecessary distress and increase their motivation to carry on with the treatment,” says Åvestrand.
The coronavirus has put society in a totally new situation, burdening both health care services and patients. Patient support programmes are now more topical than ever because they enable us to maintain the continuity of patient care – even without any physical contact, if necessary.
”For example, patient support programmes help risk groups to receive the support they need safely over the telephone or through digital channels. More extensive utilisation of patient support programmes would benefit both health care services and patients, and would further everybody’s shared goal of treatment success,” Åvestrand concludes.
Read more about patient support programmes here.