6 things that may improve patient compliance


Posted by Leigh MacKenzie, July 10, 2014

Are you satisified with the level of patience compliance in your clinic? Could you do better?

Here are some things that may help improve patience compliance:


Patients could be performing their prescribed exercises at home with a virtual physiotherapist. A new system using Avatars and motion sensor software is being developed to offer new promise to increase patient success in completing exercises at home.


Companies like PhyisoTech and PhysioTrack have developed large databases of home exercise videos for the patient via clinic websites and EMR systems. Access is key. The home exercise program is a way for patients to take an active approach to healing in order to decrease the amount of time spent in clinic with a therapist, and to increase the recovery process. This will minimize some barriers such as:

  • Patients not taking ownership of a realistic treatment plan.
  • Motivation issues due to pain.
  • Communication issues between the therapist and patient.


Mobile Advertising is on the rise. There is a new trend of “Moments marketing” on productivity apps. Why not apply this concept to the home exercise apps for physiotherapy? It might be worth looking into.


Through a monthly staff meeting or daily monitoring, assess your staff. Look at the 6 qualities of a good PT  and built on the elements that need polishing.

1.Inter-personal skills – Listens, body language builds trust, demonstrates empathy, asks appropriate questions, appropriately introduces him/herself, counsels patient, makes eye contact and speaks directly to the patient, receptive to what the patient has to say, demonstrates respect for the patient’s point of view.

2DemeanourCaring, friendly, inspires confidence, Supportive, considerate, patient, genuine, polite, has a positive disposition, non-judgmental, enjoys the job, not egotistical

3. Educates the patient – Gives clear explanations about the problem and treatment at an appropriate level, explains what he/she is doing and why during assessment and treatment, Uses visual aids and gives written information to help the patient understand the problem and treatment, provides feedback on a visit-by-visit basis, demonstrates exercises, gives specific instructions e.g. what to do and what not to do

4. Professional behaviour – Has appropriate skills and knowledge, is honest and knows his/her limitations, seeks further knowledge as required to help patients, keeps up-to-date with the patient’s current and past history, Puts patient’s needs first, dedicated and wants to be physiotherapist, communicates with others also working with the patient, suggests alternatives that might help the patient, keeps up-to-date with skills and knowledge, maintains confidentiality, maintains professional distance, treats each patient as an individual and appreciates differences between people e.g. physical, cultural

5. Diagnostic and treatment expertise – Provides self-help strategies e.g. a home exercise program and/or advice on what the patient can do for him/herself, follows up and actively involves the patient, provides an appropriate treatment to help the patient’s problem e.g. pain relief, improve movement function, Provides a diagnosis, ‘hands on’ treatment, distracts the patient from their pain or problem

6. Creates a positive environment - Creates a pleasant and welcoming environment within the physiotherapy practice, the physiotherapist puts the patient at ease during examination and treatment, is clean and hygienic, punctual and reliable.


Not everyone has the freedom to go where they want and when they want. Mobile physiotherapy clinics bring the office to the comfort, privacy, and convenience of the home or office.

The advantages of mobile physiotherapy:

  • No travel scheduling or parking.
  • More focused treatment by the therapist which yields more thorough assessments, and education about the patient’s condition.
  • More accurate assessments of the natural environment of the home/office to ensure that proper changes are made accordingly.
  • Cost effective for the patient and the health care system.


  • watch for verbal and non-verbal cues from patients that could indicate discomfort or misunderstanding.
  • explain your assessment to patients as a way of improving communication
  • when in doubt use more formal styles of communication with patients
  • check in with patients to ensure complete understanding
  • in situations of conflict, step back and take a moment to let emotions settle, and then be prepared to respond in a professional manner.
  • be aware that communication practices vary from culture to culture.

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