Menu Close


Why Patients Don’t Complete Their Treatment Plans

a clinician tries to keep a patient motivated to complete their treatment plan but it is challenging

Behavioral health tools and programs are increasingly vital for patients and providers nationwide. Often, despite a provider’s best intentions, patients may not comply with a treatment plan or protocol. Providers often find patients leaving programs without finishing their treatment plans and may not know why a patient is non-compliant. Today, there are many reasons patients are non-compliant with treatment plans. By understanding patients’ access needs and treatment barriers, providers can close the treatment gap with increased trust and communication, helping more patients complete their treatment plans and thrive.

The team at Sunwave Health offers an integrated and comprehensive behavioral health software platform to increase efficiency in operations, financial management, and patient retention. If you’re ready to learn more about tools for behavioral health clinical directors, reach us now at 561.576.6037 to get started.

What Is Patient Noncompliance?

When a patient doesn’t complete a prescription, they are non-compliant. This might include taking medication as directed, follow-up therapy visits, medical tests, and any other part of a treatment plan. When a provider and patient sit down together to make a treatment plan, a patient becomes accountable for follow-through. Unfortunately, patients often don’t complete treatment plans. Noncompliance can frustrate both providers and patients and lead to bigger health problems. Getting to the root cause of noncompliance can help both parties work together to complete treatment plans and improve the patient’s mental health.

Why Patients are Noncompliant with Treatment Plans

There are many reasons a patient doesn’t complete a treatment plan. There are barriers and situations in a patient’s life that can influence why they are non-comlpliant and help a provider determine how to help themand other patients in the future. Common reasons patients don’t finish treatment plans include:

  • Cost of treatment — Insurance and out-of-pocket costs lead many patients to leave treatment early, skip treatments, and cut corners even if they want to complete treatment. Patients may not be transparent with providers about the financial strain of a treatment plan.
  • Side effects — If a patient is experiencing medication side effects or emotional effects of therapies, they may quit before improvement. Some may notify the provider, while others may then skip appointments or quit treatment altogether.
  • Difficulty following directions — A patient is less likely to follow a protocol that is too extensive, uncear, or requires too many steps. For some, complicated online portals, a lack of directions, language barriers, and a lack of education can make it hard to follow a provider’s instructions.
  • Trust — Past experiences, behavioral health stigmas, and distrust are often the greatest barriers that prevent someone from finishing a treatment plan.
  • Environmental barriers — sometimes referred to as social determinants of health, these barriers impact a patient’s ability to access care and include a lack of transportation, childcare demands, and shift work that makes it hard to adhere to traditional appointment scheduling options.

These are a few of the most common barriers preventing patients from completing treatment. For behavioral health directors, improved technology can help increase retention, improve communication, and help patients feel seen and heard by their providers.

Improve Patient Compliance with Tools for Behavioral Health Clinical Directors

Building trust between a provider and patient is essential in behavioral health. Integrated technology can be one of the best ways to increase efficacy and give providers the time they need to build patient trust. At Sunwave Health, we understand every aspect of the behavioral health and substance abuse sectors. Our behavioral health platform empowers clinicians through:

  • Customer relationship management
  • Electronic medical records
  • Revenue cycle management
  • Alumni management

The Sunwave platform manages every process from lead capture and admissions to collections by providing clinical directors with all the information they need in real-time. Enjoy streamlined software built for behavioral health to help your clinicians improve client retention and treatment efficacy.

Learn More About the Benefits of Sunwave

Integrated software can take the guesswork out of patient noncompliance and free up the time clinicians need to build trust with patients. If you’re ready to see what Sunwave can do for you, call us now at 561.576.6037 or fill out our online contact form to get started.