“Every medical establishment should treat patients this way. It’s important to get that conversation started to establish an ongoing relationship.”
Louise Lewis is describing the innovative 4-Day Follow-up program at First State Compassion (FSC), Delaware’s premier and largest medical marijuana dispensary. Louise has been a FSC Patient Advisor since 2016; the first facility opened in 2015. She’s on the front lines of helping new patients understand and get comfortable with the concept of using medical marijuana to treat the pain and discomfort of their qualifying condition.
“At orientation, what we don’t want is for patients to be overwhelmed with information, so we go at their pace,” says Lewis. “My goal is for them to leave here with medicine we selected together, and the peace of mind of knowing it will help them feel better.”
But for many new patients, a follow-up call a few days later is a helpful refresher. “It can be anything from confirming with us that they’re taking the medication correctly, to letting us know they might want to try something different next time they come in,” says Lewis. “Mostly, they appreciate that we’re checking in on them and ready to help with whatever they need.”
Serving more than 6,000 patients monthly, FSC dispensaries in Wilmington and Lewes, Delaware, know that relationship-building is essential to helping develop an ongoing health plan. From the orientation and initial conversation to the follow-up call three-to-five days later, FSC Patient Advisors are there to listen, educate and support patients:
- Listen – How do patients feel about their condition? What do they hope to achieve with the medication? Do they have preferences for the method of consumption: oils, capsules, pre-rolls, chewable tablets, other? What about flavor choices?
- Educate – Patients may be unaware that the qualifying condition they’ve come to treat might be the root cause of other symptoms. For example, if a patient suffers from PTSD, it is possible they also feel depressed or fatigued or have gastrointestinal issues. We consider these additional symptoms in our suggestion for medication.
- Follow-up Support – We call and ask: “How are you doing?” “Is your medicine working as you expected?” “Do you have any questions?” “How can we help?”
The 4-Day Follow-up, offered to all new patients since January, is about providing patients with a resource for information and guidance on their medical marijuana treatment plan in addition to their doctor.
FSC is the only dispensary in Delaware, and one of only a few in the country, providing this type of immediate follow-up dialogue service to its patients. In addition to bringing comfort, counsel and communication, it helps build a trusted relationship.
Let’s start the conversation. Call us for more information.