Patient Compliance | an interview with Alan Cunningham | Business Challenge Solved

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Today, we’re welcoming our friend and guest writer, Alan Cunningham to the blog to discuss all things

patient compliance!

1. What is patient compliance all about?
Compliance is all about managing an illness, like asthma for example, with education. This training can teach them the proper use of medication, how to monitor their breathing volumes, and to know what triggers cause asthma attacks.

2. Why is it so important?
In the case of asthma, it is important for the asthmatic to understand the different levels of an asthma attack, mild to severe. It’s also important to recognize what caused the attack and to know when they need to come to the emergency room.

3. What kind of advantages could hospitals and clinics see from implanting educational opportunities for their patients?
We have proven, with an Asthma Education Program, that hospitals can reduce emergency room visits and readmissions. This can reduce direct cost for hospitals, and insurance companies. We have also reduced school absenteeism for those students with asthma. I created an asthma program for Lee Memorial Healthcare, which included classes and seminars. This program reduced asthma related emergency visits by 92% and reduced absenteeism in the local school by 88%. The program was so effective that the Florida Department of Health Asthma Coalition adopted our program as the role model for the state.

For the adult asthmatic, it reduces the number of days of missed work. We have seen a hospital system offer the Asthma Education to their employees and families as a benefit as well. This reduced missed days of work and reduced labor overtime the results in a cost to cover sick fellow employees. Not only that, but it reduces insurance costs for self insured hospitals or companies.

4. What kind of benefits could patients with illnesses see from going through educational experiences like those you create?
The patient can now have control over their illness, instead of the illness controlling them.

5. How do we encourage patients to take part in these experiences?
Market to the patients, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and schools, that they have options, they don’t have to sit on the bench and not join in the game. Seeing is believing. When you talk to a child who has been given the tools and education to control their illness, they have a positive and completely different view on life. They don’t have to sit in the corner and watch the others.

6. What challenges do hospitals face in building effective educational programs?
Time is the big factor, for hospitals and physicians. In the hospital setting, asthma education is a one-on-one process, not a classroom setting. This can make it hard to handle the volume of patients and the number of new Asthmatics, for example, are on the rise.

7. What benefit would a technology like Jubi bring to these kinds of programs?
The Jubi technology:
1. Fills the void of being able to handle large numbers of patients with the one-on-one education that’s needed.
2. Jubi is interactive and can tailor the education for age specific groups.
3. Jubi can send the education progress to the patients, doctors, and electronic medical records.

Other potential benefits:

Employers could leverage patient education on Jubi to achieve lower premiums. They could also potentially offer pharmaceutical discounts for those Jubi members.


Alan Cunningham has over 25 years experience as the Director of Respiratory Care services, adult, pediatrics, as well as neonatal. He has extensive experience in recruiting, developing, and managing clinical staffs. His expertise also includes planning and organizing new programs with hospital specific strategic goals. He’s also owned his own consulting business, worked as a medical science liaison, and research & development specialist in the medical equipment industry.

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