How to write effective prescriptions
Written Oct 29th, 2014 by Franco Varriano
There is no doubt the Fullscript Virtual Prescription is a powerful tool. All of our successful practitioners use it and patient adherence is improved by 70% compared to a traditional online dispensary.
To help you get the most out of this tool, we have asked Dr. Pedre, MD, one of Fullscript’s medical advisors and most successful practitioners, to share his secrets in writing effective treatment plans. Here’s what he had to say:
- Add a personal touch.
- Recap their visit.
- Explain what each product does.
- Include other lifestyle modifications.
- Increase fruits and veggies (see fibre handout)
- Avoid saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates and sugar (see guide on healthy fats vs bad fats)
- Weight-bearing exercise (meaning your feet and legs support your body weight as in walking, hiking, dancing, stair climbing, tennis, jogging etc.): At least 30-60 minutes per day
- Make sure to hydrate thoroughly before each workout and continue to maintain hydration throughout the session.
- Add instructions - don’t be afraid to explain why this specific brand is the best.
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health
- Supports a Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Response
- Every batch of Nordic Naturals fish oils is third-party tested for environmental toxins, including heavy metals, dioxins, and PCBs. All fish oils used in Nordic Naturals products are in the triglyceride form and surpass the strictest international standards for purity and freshness.
- Make the next steps clear.
As the practitioner-patient relationship is an integral part of the healing process, a little personal touch goes along way. It is important to let your patients know that you have listened to their concerns intently, but it is equally important to show that you paid attention to other stories they may have shared with you, such as a new baby, upcoming travel plans, or starting a new job/school. If there are no immediate events, you can ask how their family is doing.
Once you have added a personal message to your prescription, it is very useful to recap their visit to remind them of the importance of your prescription. I’m sure we all know that when it comes to adherence, patients can get side-tracked or be forgetful sometimes. However, a quick reminder of why they visited you will give them the motivation they need to stick to their prescription.
I am a firm believer that once patients understand their condition and learn how a product can help, even if you think it is very technical, they are more likely to stick to their treatment. I always spend a good amount of time during a visit explaining what their condition is (ie. causes and consequences) and then explaining how the solutions work. For example, I may mention that Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and that their slight deficiency needs to be compensated by the respective supplement and respective food.
As an integrative practitioner, we know how important lifestyle changes can be in treatment. Here is an example of what I mean:
Here is an example of instructions I wrote for Nordic Naturals’ fish oils.
Directions: Take 2 softgels twice a day or 4 softgels once a day with food.
Make sure you mention how long the patient should be taking these supplements for and when you check in with you. Without a clear next step, the patient may delay their treatment or may fall out of touch with you, making follow-ups hard and patient success slim!
Without further ado, here is one of my sample prescriptions:
It was great meeting Emily today and I hope I was able to answer all of your questions thoroughly.
As discussed, to fight the flu, these are my suggested supplements. The NAC and Oregano oil are to help you clear the mucous out of your lungs, boost the immune system, and fight off the infection. Oregano has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. So, it is an all-around great anti-infective. You can make it into a spray using a spray bottle and mixing with filtered water. You control the strength by the number of drops you add to the spray bottle. Combine it with Vitamin D3 at 25,000 IU. Repeat this dose daily for 3 days.
I also added Elderberry syrup. This high antioxidant fruit extract, has anti-infective properties against the flu virus. It actually prevents it from spreading from cell to cell. In studies that looked at its efficacy against influenza strains A & B, Elderberry was found to shorten the duration of the flu from the typical 7 days to 4 days. That’s 3 days less of flu-like symptoms!
Once you beat this flu, here are some things to keep in mind so you can avoid it:
- wash your hands after each contact
- keep a hand sanitiser on you, but make sure to not overuse it as it will dry your hands
- an aotmizer with essential oil of eucalyptus can help sterilize the air
Btw, here is the PDF I was referring to earlier in regards to future diet change.
For now, focus on taking care of your body and fighting the flu. Make an appointment with me in 3 weeks and we can begin planning your lifestyle modifications.
All the best,
You are welcome to use the above sample prescription as a starting point. And if you have any suggestions for writing effective treatment plans, let us know in the comments below!
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