Even though 60% of clinicians are mentally healthy and happy about their jobs and lives, a significant number still get burnout from their day-to-day activities at work. Stress and exhaustion happen for several reasons, one of the main ones being having weak interactions with the patients they interact with daily. In a survey conducted by the AAFP, more than 70% of clinicians reported spending too much time on administrative duties, which leaves them inadequate time to interact with their patients.
While most healthcare facilities provide tech-advanced medical care, physicians feel unsatisfied because they need to provide patients with the best relationship, which is the case with patients. Embracing an enhanced professional bond will satisfy both the physicians and patients. Here are five ways that healthcare providers can consider to improve patient-provider relationships and remain effective:
1. Spend a Minute Creating a Good Relationship with the Patient
Spending 20 minutes bonding with your patients might be impossible because your busy schedule may allow you to spare less than 20 minutes per patient on the same day. However, it may be easier to spare one minute to build a good relationship with your patients. You can do that by spending the first 60 seconds asking each patient questions unrelated to health care. That will help you create a personal relationship with them. You may be surprised by how much you can discuss within one minute.
2. Your Body Language Should Be Friendly
You must understand how much your patients can feel cared for and welcome by showing them welcoming body language. Most medical practitioners unconsciously show physical expressions that affect their relationship with their patients. When talking to a patient, look them in the eyes and nod to show them that you are listening to whatever they say.
Additionally, sit close to patients when attending to them. You may also avoid distractions such as looking elsewhere and talking to others while spending time with the patient. Additionally, smile where applicable because it plays a significant role in improving the relationship with your patient.
3. Sympathize With Your Patients
Most patient-provider relationships experience tension because the practitioners may not know that patients can find their behavior cold. You should show compassion to all your patients to make them feel cared for and show them that you enjoy providing them with healthcare services. You can show that by actively listening to patients and answering any questions they may pose to you.
You should concentrate on your patient and reduce possible distractions while communicating with them so they can feel you can hear them. Also, ask the patient to explain anything you don’t understand. Show concern by asking the patient how they are, how they feel, and how the health condition affects their life, among other empathetic questions and statements.
4. EHR Software Can Help Improve Patient Trust
According to research, patients feel unsatisfied when medical practitioners use screens when the patients don’t understand whatever is on the screen. You can use EHR software to share screens when attending to your patients. The software has a patient portal that lets patients feel part of the process and understand their medical treatment. That improves patient trust and contributes to improved patient relationship management.
5. Offer Socially Conscious Healthcare Services
Sometimes, the patient-provider relationship gets strained because the latter may demonstrate behavior that seems normal to them but socially unsuitable for the patient. It’s essential to remember that your cultural beliefs and values may be different from your patients’. That is why you should be careful about interacting with patients from different cultures and backgrounds.
While attending to such patients, always ask them for clarifications on specific behaviors. For example, you can ask them what their culture dictates about sitting next to them and touching their bodies, among others. You should also consider possible language barriers and find ways to communicate with your patients where you see differences.
Observing the above five things as a healthcare practitioner is essential to achieve a healthier patient-provider relationship. They will leave the patient satisfied and happy while making you responsible for providing better, high-quality healthcare services. Furthermore, you should use the opportunity to teach your patients about preventive healthcare and taking care of themselves. That will help them understand medical information better and motivate them to take their health seriously.