New study compares changes in compliance

New study compares changes in compliance

Mar 27, 2009
By staff
Lakewood, Colo. -- Since 2002, veterinarians have realized that they play as much a role in compliance as pet owners, and compliance levels have increased as a result, according to a new study.

The American Animal Health Association (AAHA) partnered with Pfizer Animal Health to conduct a national research project on the subject to see where the profession is in regard to compliance, several years after an initial study that changed the way veterinary medicine viewed compliance.

In 2002, AAHA worked with Hill's Pet Nutrition to conduct the first compliance study, "The Path to High Quality Care." The study revealed that veterinarians thought compliance levels were much higher than they actually were, and the entire profession turned its focus to increasing compliance.

The 2002 study indicated that 60 percent of veterinary professionals thought compliance was solely the client's responsibility. By 2008, the same number, 60 percent, said that compliance is the responsibility of the entire practice team.

The new follow-up study also identifies barriers to medication adherence, interventions to increase adherence and communication practices that can help increase compliance.

Pet owners are looking for simple, detailed instructions, easy administration techniques, according to the study, and they are willing to pay a premium if things are made easier for them.

Since 2002, the study found that following these pointers helped increase compliance levels from 64 percent to 73 percent over six years. Clear instructions from a veterinarian, staff follow-up and pharmaceutical refill reminders all help the client worry less about their role in compliance, according to the study, which examines specific communication and follow-up techniques.

The new study, which will be released soon by AAHA, is titled "Six Steps to Higher Quality Patient Care."