I like to point out the many parallels between medicine and support, since they both involve a patient/customer and a physician/support engineer and they both require a combination of technical skill and soft skills. And this is also true of the painful challenge of patient compliance: the likelihood that the patient/customer will follow the advice of the physician/support engineer.
Patient compliance statistics are surprisingly hard to come by since medicine is not set up with a reliable feedback loop, but it could be that 40% of patients do not use their medicines as prescribed, and even higher numbers do not follow appropriate proactive-health regimens. However high the numbers may be, medical researchers have identified a number of reasons why compliance fails to occur:
- health literacy
- health belief systems
- too much information
- poor rapport between physician and patient
- lack of trust
- no patients’ involvement in their care
- cultural gap between patient and physician
The RX is remarkably simple: get to know your patient/customer, explain the solution patiently and thoroughly, especially if you sense a conflict, and work on creating trust.
What are you doing to increase your team’s ability to elicit patient compliance?