This is a collaborative post.
A good patient-doctor relationship is crucial. It helps put patients at ease, knowing that the doctor will do everything to make them feel better and not just juice them from the high professional fees. With a good relationship, they can trust their doctors better and would have confidence that they’re getting the correct treatment and care to cure their illness.
Unfortunately, not everyone can quickly achieve a good and stable patient-doctor relationship. Patients need time to trust their doctors to see how well they can make their illness go away while making themselves feel comfortable throughout the entire process. Moreover, listed below are some ways to improve the patient-doctor relationship easily:
Know Your Patient’s History
A patient would feel unimportant every time they visit their doctor’s clinic, and they frequently check for their patient’s history records while their patient is right in front of them. It will make the patient feel better if their doctors know their medical history without seeing them run through their records again throughout the entire conversation. With that, it’ll be helpful if you, as a doctor, could take a good read of the patient’s history before calling them inside your clinic.
For faster and more organized patient records, you can utilize Patient Registration Software to help you keep track of things and see everything you need right in front of your screens. Moreover, it can also track your patient’s interactions, summarize how your last conversation went, and identify their concerns that might still be bugging them today. Keeping up with their issues would make them feel special as you remember how they’ve been and what’s bothering them.
Display Prioritization In Hygiene
No one would feel comfortable revisiting a doctor’s clinic, especially if they notice that the entire environment is unclean, which could be a dirt and illness magnet. It can cause health concerns and might make your patients lose trust in your service as you cannot provide the basics of a good healthcare provider. With that, you should prioritize hygiene inside your clinic and emphasize that with everyone inside. Doing so will make them feel at ease, knowing that your clinic is safe.
Ideally, you should have your clinic cleaned before and after your clinic hours. If your patients use the bed for proper diagnosis, sanitizing them clean before and after each patient could leave a good impression, knowing that you try to keep your clinic safe and hygienic. Additionally, having and using plenty of alcohol and hand sanitisers around would encourage you to use them after every use. You can even provide a separate one for the public so your patients can quickly have one, keeping their hands clean.
Make Patients Feel Comfortable
One overlooked aspect of how you can improve the patient-doctor relationship is by making them feel comfortable while inside your clinic. No matter how great you are as a doctor and how well you can cure certain illnesses, if your patient isn’t at ease every time they come for a visit, it might motivate them to look for a different doctor, which they can freely move how they want to be. With that, you should make your patients feel comfortable with every visit.
You can begin by providing a comfortable waiting area for your patients, TV to watch, quick refreshments, and other sources of entertainment such as magazines. For your interaction, you should try to be as casual as possible. Make yourself feel like a friend they can come to whenever they feel uncomfortable with their body. The more you try to be loose and laid back, the more comfortable they’ll open up to you about any illness they have.
Show Empathy And Sympathy
No one likes visiting a doctor for a checkup as it means that something could be wrong with their body. While you’re not exactly in their shoes and experiencing the tragedy, you should try to show sympathy every time you deliver an unfortunate medical assessment result. As you drop the news, show them that you feel sad about their situation and assure them that you’re doing everything to make them feel better.
If you have a personal experience with their current situation, try to share your encounter with them and emphasize how you were able to surpass those times. Ideally, you should be providing good examples so they could have higher hopes of recovering from their illness. With a story, they can feel more connected to you than just being their doctor, but someone who shares the same pain with you.
Maximize Appointment Schedule
There is nothing more annoying than a patient waiting for hours for their doctor only to have them checked for a few minutes and sent home immediately, without providing enough information about their illness. It can happen when a medical expert needs to accommodate many clients for the day. Hence, they are trying to speed up the consultation with each patient. With this event, it will not help in improving your patient-doctor relationship at all.
After every patient, you should set a few minutes to exchange a short conversation with them. It would include asking how they have been and if they are feeling any illnesses. After providing your diagnosis, you should give them the possible causes and treatment options they could make. Moreover, you can detail through a thorough discussion about what they should do and how they can prevent their illness from coming back.
Always Be Optimistic
Delivering bad news to your patients would never be a good thing, especially since you’ll get to see how their reaction to the information would be. While it’s your responsibility to deliver the news, you should try to be optimistic as much as possible.
If you show your patients that what’s happening with them is awful, it’ll only make them grieve more about their situation and stress. As you show optimism and a positive attitude, you’re giving them a small glimpse of hope that someday everything will go back to normal and they can continue to go on with their life. You can even comment about how strong they are and how deeply motivated you are to make everything better again.
Include Companion In The Discussion
If your patient brings a companion with them during their checkup, you should also accommodate them. It only means that they trust their companion to hear your diagnosis, and you should be glad to share the news with them and never isolate them from your patient.
Whenever you’re trying to speak to your patient, try to include their companion as well. You can ask them questions about your patient’s concerns and symptoms. You can even give them a quick guide about what your patient should and shouldn’t do once they arrive home, including lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. This way, their companion would feel included, leaving a good impression on your patient.
Give Options For Treatments
After every diagnosis with your patient, you should always try to provide them with the best possible treatments that they could have to allow themselves to feel better. While it might be tempting to limit yourself to your preferred treatment, you should always give your patients the chance to choose which one they’re most comfortable doing in, as they have the right to what they could do to their bodies.
To avoid confusion with your patients and their treatment options, you should start with your high recommendation. Afterwards, show them their next possible option and state their pros and cons. This way, they know everything they can do and which would be better for your health. It can also help to show transparency and give them complete freedom of how you will serve their body.
Give Monthly Check-Ins
Everyone knows that doctors are busy. But spending a few minutes of your day checking up about how they’re doing would make your patients feel comfortable and happy as their doctor is concerned about their issues and remembering them as a patient. With that, you should check in with your patient after their treatment has finished and see how they’re feeling.
To keep yourself on track, you can create a calendar schedule and input your patient’s quick medical info so you can send them when the time comes. This simple gesture would help improve the patient-doctor relationship as not everyone will take time to catch up with their patients as they’re too busy or forget their patient’s situation.
Always Ask Questions
After every checkup, you should always ask your patients if there are any more concerns or questions they’d like to raise, as now would be the perfect time to bring them up. You could even provide some examples about some sudden headaches or pains and see if there’s something you can do.
At the end of your meeting, ask them how their checkup went and if they were able to get everything they needed for the day. Always end the session with a smile and positive note so you can attract them to revisit your clinic and make you their go-to doctor in case something goes wrong.
Improving patient-doctor relationships is always necessary as it can give you a happy and satisfied patient. This way, you can earn their trust and would believe that your treatment is the best option they could ever get. Moreover, it allows you to be in touch with your patients, as you know where they’re coming from and how you can make them feel better and more comfortable after every visit.
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