Medical Neglect

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The reading I would like to comment on is Compliance and Noncompliance. This is an issue for many different reasons in any healthcare setting. In the setting that I work (the pediatric outpatient clinic serving mainly low socioeconomic families) noncompliance usually goes hand and hand with medical neglect. A large percentage of our population is of African American decent. I do know that there are some culture beliefs on medical care. The idea of preventive care, for example with well child visits is not seen as a necessity. Taking the time to educate on why preventive care is necessary and can help avoid medical problems is the only way to decrease the noncompliance rate. However a large part of my job is to also monitor appropriate follow up for medical concerns. The compliance rate goes down when people feel that their child is better from their illness. Asthma is chronic diseases where I see parents bring their child to the ER in an asthma exacerbation only to not show for their pulmonary follow up because the child was not wheezing anymore. It is our responsibility to take these opportunities and teach why it is so important to follow up with pulmonary care. The education to the parent that you may not hear anymore wheezing does not mean that the child is not still having problems. Proactive patient education can help with compliance and noncompliance rates.

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