3. Not all patients will accept your treatment plan
Non-compliance is always frustrating. When I hear complaints such as, “lifeitegrast ophthalmic solution 0.5% (Xiidra, Novartis) costs too much!” “it isn’t covered by my insurance,” “the cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion .05% (Restasis, Allergan) burns my eyes,” and “it takes too much time!” I sometimes feel that I failed to clarify to my patients why they need their treatments.
So, I explain it again, often to no avail. I have found that most ODs will help their patients with financial assistance paperwork in an effort to get them the medications they need.
I observed that when this doctor encountered pushback from a patient, he simply moved on to another treatment option.
This was revolutionary to me. If the patient is not going to comply, why waste your time trying to talk him into it? Simply say “I’ve offered you this, and you didn’t like it, so here is an alternative.” Adopting this practice allowed me to release myself from a sense of guilt. The treatment is truly in the patient’s own hands. Our job as professionals is to lay out the options and let him choose what he feels will work best for him.