Can Minimally Disruptive Medicine Help Noncompliant Patients?

Minimally disruptive medicine seeks to minimize the burden of an illness and treatment by designing patient care to prevent overburdening.

In the eyes of a healthcare team, being a good, compliant patient often means not only dealing with an illness but also with potential regimen and lifestyle changes. These changes can include the need for new diets and activities, along with physical, financial and emotional challenges. Dealing with all of this at once could lead a patient to neglect some of the care team’s directives, and thus be labeled as noncompliant.

Minimally Disruptive Medicine

Being a patient can be hard work. This is the statement behind minimally disruptive medicine (MDM).

MDM seeks to minimize the burden of an illness and treatment by designing patient care to prevent overburdening – which, in turn, can reduce noncompliance.

The MDM theory does not minimize the treatment or the quality of medicine provided. Rather, it recognizes a patient’s point of view and attempts to highlight areas where burdens can be minimized. The ultimate goal of MDM is to give the patient a better quality of life while they are dealing with an illness.

MDM includes the use of a tool developed by the KER Unit of Mayo Clinic called ICAN. ICAN is a communication tool aimed at helping providers better understand patients outside of an illness. The questions in ICAN are designed to recognize that patients are individuals with their own lives, values and goals who happen to have an illness with which they currently identify.

If your practice is looking to better understand patients, and perhaps reduce noncompliance, MDM might be a good fit for you. To learn more, Mayo Clinic has developed a YouTube video summarizing the program. The video will help you get an in-depth view of how this patient-centered healthcare model could be applied at your practice. 

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