Nashville, TN. - It is no secret that hypertension is the leading cause of death in America. However research reveals less than half of patients adhere to their treatment regime. Dubbed as the ‘silent killer’ due to symptoms being non-existent leading up to challenges associated with high-blood pressure, patients’ experience with the side effects of hypertension treatments are worse than prior to being diagnosed. And with the blood pressure cuff being the greatest tool to understanding if the treatment is working, patients can easily answer ‘yes’ to adhering to the new treatment plan set forth by their physician.
To help tell a more complete story, Aegis Sciences recently introduced a new test to help health care professionals better monitor adherence to hypertension treatments. Known as KardiAssure, it is the first and only adherence test for cardiovascular medications. With a small urine sample, physicians receive a comprehensive report that shows the current levels of over 50 different cardiovascular medications, helping tell an immediate story of adherence.
You can read more about this new drug test here, originally reported by NPR.
Why This Matters –
As professional communicators, we are always drawn to techniques and evolving shifts that help increase communication between patients and doctors. This example is a great, albeit uncomfortable, way to get to the facts and create a more honest conversation. Opening up about the barriers to adhere can bring forth solutions to the patient to help control their condition and avoid the unwanted consequences.
What also has me interested in this is the ability to create better experiences for the patient prior to starting the new medication. It is well documented that hypertension treatments have side effects that create a less than ideal experience for the patient before their body gets acclimated to the new medicine. With that in mind, what can we do as communicators to evolve tactics that help create a clearer set of expectations for HCPs and patients? What tools and support can we develop that helps better understand the shifting expectations and how best to plan for them?
You can read more about the shifting expectations we’re following in 2018 and many other perspectives here!