Most individuals expect to receive medical care in a clinical setting from a licensed primary care physician. In fact, our current healthcare system and reimbursement protocols frame it as such.
However, a recent study on high blood pressure took place in a barbershop, and researchers wanted to learn more about patient compliance to medical recommendations and medications.
While it may seem like a non-traditional approach, the results suggest that there’s considerable room for improvement in the way that we deliver healthcare.
Why Study High Blood Pressure in a Barbershop?
Researchers chose to conduct a study on high blood pressure in a barbershop because it was a familiar setting within the participants’ community.
They also trained barbers, who were considered as trusted advisors, to measure blood pressure and council participants on hypertension.
Participants in the intervention group were screened for high blood pressure by their barber and then referred to meet with a pharmacist who was in the barbershop. The pharmacist provided medication and education for lifestyle modifications.
67% of these men achieved their goal blood pressure of 130/80 in 6 months
The control group received education from their barber on lifestyle modifications. They were also referred to make an appointment with a physician at a later date.
12% of these participants achieved their goal blood pressure of 130/80 in 6 months
The Barbershop Study Suggests That Healthcare Location and Convenience Matter
Researchers concluded that the location of this study and its convenience impacted patient compliance and efficacy of treatment.
By communicating with participants in a comfortable environment, these men were more receptive to recommendations for lifestyle modifications.
Additionally, the intervention group did not have to go to another location to receive help from the pharmacists, as they were immediately available in the barbershop.
As a result, researchers believe that effective healthcare is best provided in settings that are close to patients and within their community.
This Experiment Reveals the Importance of Trust Between Provider and Patient
While not a physician, the barber was viewed by all participants as a reliable member of the community. They were responsive to his recommendations because they felt secure and comfortable with him.
Therefore, the experiment suggests that patients must trust the individual delivering healthcare recommendations.
Barbers and Pharmacists Provided Less Restrictive Medical Care
Today’s healthcare system bases reimbursement on specific criteria. As a result, there are more restrictions placed on who and where care can be provided.
The barbershop study demonstrates that to improve care on a larger scale, fewer restrictions should be placed on the type of qualified provider and setting of treatment.
To learn more about convenient, effective, and trusted healthcare, call Capital Medical Associates today to schedule an appointment.