The most important investment to make in health care? It's not the technology, not the office flow, not the insurance contracts, but rather focusing on the needs of the individual patients as human beings. It's focusing on the patient themselves.
Now, all of the above listed areas are clearly quite important. But what good is investing in those areas when we lack the one thing that patients crave the most? They are craving some personal attention. Someone who cares. Someone who listens. Someone who will understand what they are asking for. The biggest key here is they crave empathy.
Patient satisfaction is higher when physicians and staff are able to show genuine empathy and compassion for patients, no matter how trivial the situation. Patient compliance also increases when the patient physician relationship is stronger, thus resulting in better outcomes.
So often, patients report that they don't feel like a unique person in a medical practice. They feel as if they are just another medical chart number or "just another patient" in the schedule. All it takes is a connection with each patient while they are in the practice to make them feel more comfortable about being cared for by your practice.
The key to instilling patient centered care? Physician leadership is crucial. The initiative to have a truly patient care centered practice begins at the top and trickles down to management, supervisors, and front line staff. Staff can be taught how to best care for patients, but they must know it is a primary focus for it to be ingrained in the DNA of the entire office. The physicians and leadership team must support staff in being caring, empathetic, and compassionate to patients and their families. The best way to do this is by setting the example.
Each patient deserves to be treated as a person with successes, struggles, ideas, and questions. Each patient is a person, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a best friend, a professional, a laborer, a dedicated parent. When we lose sight of this and treat them as just another patient, we lose the impact of being able to best guide them through their current and future medical needs.
It used to be "Old School" that physicians would graduate with all of the medical training that they need, but severely lacking in bedside manner. Now, medical schools promote the need for a connection with patients on a personal level. Aside from the well known fact that that an office that treats patients well and connects with them are less likely to be sued, patient compliance and patient satisfaction also increase when patients feel like the physician and the staff truly care about them.
Get even more tips on how to connect with your patients and show them you truly value them and their business in your own ePamphlet - "50 Tips to Enhance Patient Centered Care" by clicking here: http://www.kristinaevey.com/patientexptips/