When your medical patients receive their diagnosis, fear is a common result. Suspicions become reality and they have decisions to make while personally lacking the tools to plan. You have the responsibility of ensuring your patient receives access to information and helping them by formulating a patient treatment plan.
These five steps are vital to creating a treatment plan for your patient.
Most journeys do not begin with the first step, contrary to an old saying. Instead, they begin with a decision on the destination. A clearly defined goal or series of goals is the destination for your patient’s journey through a treatment plan. Goals can be adjusted over time. However, be sure these destinations are clearly defined and written down for future reference. The goal should be easy for the patient to understand. Most patients have people who will want to know the goal as well so they can offer assistance. Such patients are happier when they have understandable goals to explain to support circles.
The Finishing Line
Defining success is essential for the patient to thrive in the plan and for you to evaluate the patient’s progress in it. Along the way, the finishing line can change. Do not let the patient misunderstand and believe that the plan is etched in stone. Maintain communication, whether remote or in person.
Be sure that the patient’s insurance coverage will approve your “finishing line” with top tools such as the best utilization management software on the market. This helps healthcare workers assess, propose, and utilize treatment plans that meet approval.
Having decided on the endpoint of the journey, you can begin the task of deciding precisely how your patient can reach it. Explain your role and the patient’s role in the plan as you form it. Try to establish achievable steps without too much stress so that the patient stays motivated to continue them.
Explain the expectations you have for your patient. If the patient is unable to reach the smaller goals that form each step of the plan, the larger goal is impossible. Ensure your patient realizes this and encourage them to find personal rewards for completing each step. Motivation depends on the personality of each patient.
Your patient is not an island. Most people have connections, people who rely on them and on whom they can rely. This support system is essential for anyone going through medical troubles. Those in the patient’s circle who can be relied upon should be noted in the plan and the patient should be encouraged to notify them and keep them involved. When you involve a support system in the plan, you give your patient an important tool for their treatment plan toolbox.
Unfortunately, some patients do exist in relative isolation. Be creative. Suggest support groups that know what your patient is experiencing and can empathize. Even a pet can be part of a support system, as can hobbies or the practicing of their spirituality or religion. A support system gives the patient a foundation on which to stand and keeps the patient grounded.
With each conversation with the patient, consider a few questions. Is the current goal still the primary target, or are adjustments called for? Is the patient remaining on track with the plan? If not, do you need to revisit previous steps or adjust and redirect to motivate the patient again?
Discuss with your patient their purpose in beginning this journey toward a cure or a treatment regimen. Emphasize that you both need to know the patient is on the correct path. Incorporate the feedback you receive when adjusting plans.
Patient treatment plans do more than create a path for the patient to follow from diagnosis to eventual goal. They reassure your patient. The unknown can be terrifying. A patient treatment plan gives the patient tools to take personal actions toward bettering their health. Using key software tools and keeping the patient involved throughout will assist you in meeting an important goal yourself.