No matter what type of practitioner you are, helping your patients and clients attain and maintain true health requires them to participate in their care. This often means adapting to a new regimen, whether it be supplements, nutritional or lifestyle recommendations.

How do we optimize this process?

This is a topic we have covered at length at the Evolution of Medicine, including a 15 part podcast series and partnerships with some of the leading technology and education companies in the space.

Here is a recap of best practices that could transform your patient care in 2019.

1. Who is writing the prescription?

On the very first Functional Forum, our co-founder Gabe Hoffman gave a talk on “compliance” from a coaching perspective and argued that where a doctor writing a pharmaceutical prescription makes sense in a Western model, if the patient has to actually participate in their care, perhaps they should be writing the recommendations. Check out this short video to learn more about why this strategy is so effective.

Since then we have seen innovation along these lines inside our Practice Accelerator, where Dr. Lara Salyer created her own group intake event “Functional Rx”, where 18 prospective patients all fill out their timeline and matrix together in a collaborative environment. Not only does this lead to significantly higher engagement, but leverages a group format to make functional medicine more affordable and accessible.

2. Start with Why

One of my favorite books ever is “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek where he shows how leaders inspire action by re-connecting those they serve to their purpose. In our world, this was echoed by Dr. Terry Wahls when describing the process she used in her group visit model, where she would use the first session to help each member of the group connect to their unique purpose. Suddenly, 9 cups of vegetables was not a barrier for people who had never eaten like that in their lives.

3. Get Personal

The more personal the recommendations, the more likely your patients are to take them seriously and follow through. The days of “eat less, exercise more” are clearly way behind us, but taking time to be specific with each recommendation, why you are making it and how it fits into their overall health goals creates a plan that is much more likely to be adhered to.

Empathy is the bedrock of successful healing relationships, and putting yourself in their shoes, and making personal connections to their unique story can make all the difference. Recapping their visit, explaining each of the recommendations, being clear on next steps are all best practices to inspire engagement from your patients.

4. Leverage Technology

Over the years, we have featured a number of technology tools that can effectively support this next era of patient empowerment.

As part of our research for this article, we interviewed a dozen practitioners from our community crushing it with Fullscript and uncovered some remarkable statistics.

When a practitioner makes a personal prescription for a patient on Fullscript, the average is 8.1 re-orders, as opposed to 3.2 re-orders when a more generalized recommendations are made. That is a 150% increase!

Fullscript has a number of unique features that can be transformative for adherence, offered at no extra cost to you. Refill reminders, auto-ship and protocol product swapping are all effective at improving adherence and come as standard on Fullscript.

5. Harness the Power of Community

“The Healthiest Thing Any Practitioner Can Do Is Introduce Two People to want to be health to each other”

One of the biggest trends in integrative and functional medicine in 2019 is the “group visit” or “shared medical appointment”, because of its ability to solve some of the biggest issues facing our industry, especially affordability, accessibility and behavior change.

In 2019 we are leading the charge to continue to innovate on the group visit model, including innovating on virtual and hybrid virtual models, but the truth is, any ways that you can connect your patients to others who can hold them accountable can make a massive difference. Accountability buddies, community events and group education classes are all ways that your prescriptions can be backed by natures most powerful healing force… community.