For doctors that have their own practice, the relationships with patients are everything because without them, there is no work. After all, it is a business, and if you have dissatisfied patients, then that's essentially the end of your career.
Creating a rapport with patients and improving your relationship with each of them can be a challenge for many doctors, especially in this age where the number of people seeking medical care is steadily increasing. Many doctors and medical professionals have grown weary of the workload, which has left them stressed out and overwhelmed. This can add even more tension to interactions between doctors and patients.
As a physician, what can you do to improve your relationship with patients? Here are 5 tips:
1. Manage expectations. Patients expect quality care from their medical providers, so it's your duty to provide that care to the best of your ability and maintain communication at all times. Create a culture of open communication between you, your staff, and patients so people know what to expect from each other. Each patient comes from different backgrounds and have their own idea of what good patient care consists of.
2. Make sure you and your collections are on the same page each day. Stress to staff members the importance of prioritizing the patient relationship. Have regular meetings to discuss concerns or issues that need to be addressed. What things can be done to improve the experience of each patient?
3. Take a deep breath. In our busy culture you can easily get cooked up in a fast pace, but taking a deep breath is a great way to relax, plus it helps you be in the moment and gives you the ability to focus on the patient in front of you instead of worrying about what needs to be done next.
4. Build trust through transparency. Transparency means that every interaction flows from a belief of being open, honest, and truthful. Being honest with staff and patients can make a huge difference in preventing medical malpractice. Be truthful about the risks and benefits of providing medical procedures and what is happening through the process of care.
5. Be nice. One may assume that this is common sense, but you would have surprised how many doctors forget this simple rule. Remember why you went into the medical field in the first place. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
What tips would you add to improve the doctor / patient relationship?