Practice Management Blog

Four Steps to Improve Patient Treatment Plan Adherence

Did you know that as many as 40% of patients don’t properly follow treatment recommendations?

Unfortunately, when patients veer off their prescribed treatment paths, the consequences can be severe, not just for their own health, but also for the efficiency and credibility of your allied healthcare practice.

So, the question is: If you’re facing a potential 40% non-compliance rate, are there things your practice can do to impact plan adherence?

Absolutely. By weaving in effective communication, collaborative planning and streamlined practice management, you can start turning the tide on treatment non-compliance.

In this article, we’ll explore four simple proactive steps to improve patient adherence to treatment plans and show how this approach can transform patient care and practice efficiency.

Step 1: Build a Strong Foundation

Lead-up factors like expectation setting and communication around treatment planning strongly influence treatment plan compliance. Missing a step with patients can easily lead to non-compliance, so to prevent that from happening, you’ll need to communicate clearly, build trust and use positive language.

Communicate Clearly and Simply

When you discuss the proposed treatment plan with your patient, keep your explanation clear, simple and to the point. Avoid using complex terminology that can be confusing and off-putting, leading to a disconnect with the patient.

Build Trust

Build trust with your patient through transparency and demonstrating your knowledge and ability. Patients are more likely to adhere to a treatment plan if they believe in their practitioner’s expertise and care. This trust grows when practitioners provide understandable, empathetic education and feedback.

Use Positive Language

Positive language plays a crucial role in motivating and reassuring patients and fostering a sense of capability and support in their treatment journey.

Step 2: Use Collaborative Treatment Planning

Establish Shared Goals

Collaborative treatment planning is about creating joint objectives with patients. This begins with a dialogue where both the practitioner and patient contribute to defining treatment goals.

Discuss the Steps of the Plan

This will include specifics like appointment frequency and total number of appointments to form a clear treatment roadmap for the patient.

Address Possible Challenges

When designing a proposed treatment plan, identify potential hurdles and set realistic expectations. Be clear in your communication about possible challenges, and develop actionable steps the patient can take to work around them. Always cover the risk points for non-compliance so that patients understand the consequences of not following the plan.

Manage Expectations

Be careful not to create a false expectation, as patient progress is not always linear. Focus on the milestones you’re trying to achieve overall and be willing to adjust your approach depending on whether something is working or not.

Step 3: Address Disruptions to Treatment

Clear policy communication, coupled with a firm yet understanding approach to enforcement, ensures that both the patient’s and the practice’s interests are protected, leading to fewer disruptions and more consistent treatment adherence.

Implement No-Show Fees

Effectively managing disruptions like missed appointments is crucial.

Implementing no-show fees is one practical strategy. This approach compensates for lost time and resources and serves as a deterrent against future absences.

Communicate Practice Policies

The key to proactively addressing potential disruptions is to communicate policies from the beginning of the treatment process. Ensure that patients are aware of no-show or late cancellation policies and the reasoning behind them. This transparency helps maintain the relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider.

Step 4: Manage Your Practice Team for Successful Implementation

Practice management software like Power Diary supports allied health teams in treatment plan adherence. Power Diary features include fully configurable note and letter templates, recurring appointments and automatic reminders, online payment options for patients and a Practice Operations Manual to support the development of policies and procedures.


Templates help to ensure consistency in your approach to patients. To support treatment plan adherence, use templates to:

  • Configure note templates for a thorough and consistent approach to initial consultations, review consultations and other key interactions
  • Improve communication and planning with checkboxes, fields and other prompts to guide practitioners
  • Support adherence-oriented processes with careful attention to wording and goals

Recurring Appointments, Reminders and Pre-Payments

The software’s ability to set up recurring appointments means setting up treatment plans is simple. Set recurring appointments at the click of a button, with no need to manually follow up with patients before booking the next appointment.

Then, you can set automated appointment reminders to reduce missed sessions and improve treatment adherence.

In addition, Power Diary allows you to accept online payments and pre-payments or deposits at the time of booking. If your patient has already paid for the session, they’re more likely to attend.

Practice Operations Manual

Power Diary includes an in-platform Practice Operations Manual to support the development and communication of practice policies and procedures. It helps to ensure that all team members are on the same page and understand their roles in patient care, including treatment plan adherence.

With Power Diary, you can auto-generate a fully configurable Operations Manual for your practice, providing a core set of policies and procedures that are easily adapted to your practice.

A proactive approach with an emphasis on clear communication, collaborative treatment planning, and effective team management can significantly impact adherence to treatment plans.
Power Diary is key in this process, facilitating consistent communication, appointment management and team coordination. These strategies contribute to a supportive and efficient healthcare setting, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Experience these benefits firsthand – start a 14-day free trial of Power Diary. No credit card required!

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