Individuals may often see their doctor numerous times throughout the year whether it be for a scheduled annual exam or unexpected illness. Given that doctors meet with patients to discuss personal and sensitive information, it is imperative that they make establishing meaningful relationships an integral part of their healthcare process. Remembering a few simple tips can aid doctors in better serving those that rely on them.
Make Proper Introductions
It is always in the best interest of a doctor to make a good first impression. Many patients often base their initial judgment of a doctor on their bedside manner; therefore, it is essential that doctors express a positive attitude and show a genuine interest in their patients. Rather than simply viewing the patient as a name on a chart, doctors should both properly introduce themselves as well as try and obtain any interesting facts that are unique to the individual. Doctors may benefit from making themselves seem more relatable and easier to approach.
Understand Core Beliefs
No two patients are alike. The way a doctor interacts with one patient may not be appropriate to use towards another. When meeting a patient, it may be advantageous for the doctor to ask key questions relating to the patient’s religion, cultural background and preferred language. In doing so, the doctor may minimize any barriers to communication and gain a better understanding of the way in which to specialize the patient’s course of treatment.
Take Time During Appointments
Individuals often visit their doctor when they need to discuss a potential medical condition or obtain a proper diagnosis from a trusted professional. Doctors that really take the time to listen to their patient’s symptoms and address their concerns may be more likely to pinpoint the exact source of the patient’s issues and identify effective ways to combat it; rushing through an appointment may minimize the doctor’s ability to achieve this. Utilizing a form of revenue cycle outsourcing may be one way to avoid delayed appointment times and hectic scheduling, thereby allowing more attention to be directed toward the patient.
Collaborate on Patient Care
Although doctors may provide patients with detailed instructions on how to best treat their medical condition, there is no guarantee that an individual will follow these suggestions. It is essential that doctors work alongside their patients to create a plan that they are able, willing and ready to follow.
Patients do not always receive good news when they visit the doctor. When dealing with such a situation, it may be advantageous for a doctor to try and understand what the patient may be thinking as well as how they might be feeling. Projecting a sense of warmth may help show the patient that they are not alone.
Discuss All Aspects of a Diagnosis
Many patients may not appreciate being criticized by doctors about their current lifestyle, habits or routines. Although it is necessary to point out how the patient’s current actions are negatively impacting their health, they should also be informed of the beneficial outcomes that accompany following their doctor’s advice. Painting a positive picture for patients may work towards getting them more motivated to make necessary changes.
One way to show that a doctor truly values the health and well-being of their patients is to contact them a couple of days after their visit. Checking on the progress of treatment and addressing any possible concerns is a great way to demonstrate that the doctor views their patients as actual individuals.
There are many ways that doctors can create meaningful relationships with their patients. Identifying what works best for them and utilizing such strategies will assist them in their daily interactions.