Warm & Welcoming Physicians Can Help Improve Patient Health Outcomes

Finding different ways to improve the relationship physicians have with their patients is essential to create an entirely new environment for patients and staff. If a patient feels more valued and engaged, then he or she can bond better with their care providers, and quickly recover from their illness. A good patient-doctor relationship is essential for providing better patient care and to build up the relationship, doctors need quality time free from documentation hassles. A reliable provider of medical transcription services can take care of the medical documentation, allowing physicians to spend more quality time with the patients and focus on their individual requirements. Doctors must be good listeners too if they are to provide personalized care for their patient community.

physicians can help improve patient health outcomes

According to a study by researchers from Stanford University, doctors who are warm, welcoming and reassuring can actually improve health outcomes. Small things that doctors say and do to connect with patients can make a huge difference. A recent study was conducted at Stanford in this regard that included 76 participants. The participants received a skin prick test, a common procedure used in assessing allergies, and the pricks made their skin itchy and red. The doctor examined the allergy reaction. For one group, the doctor did not interact much whereas for the other group the doctor shared some words of encouragement. The group that was given assurance by their doctor reported that their reactions were less itchy. The doctors did not in fact give any medication to the participants.  This shows that a doctor’s words might be more powerful than we normally realize.

Another study was also conducted to know whether the same words from a doctor influence patients differently depending on how warm or competent the doctor seemed. Again a group of participants were given a prick test. One group met a physician who was warm and competent, called patients by name, smiled, chatted and maintained eye contact with the patients. The other group met a physician who sat glued to the computer, did not introduce herself and asked random questions related to the allergy prick. For both groups, the physicians gave the same cream, a hand lotion, to reduce the allergic reaction and itching. The study revealed that the first group that went to the welcoming and warm physician experienced reduced itching and the other group who went to the less friendly physician had no effect even after applying the cream.

The study shows that the words and attitude of the physician who projected desirable qualities, warmth and competence, had a positive effect on the patients. In other words, doctors who take an effort to connect with the patients can ensure successful treatment. With advanced technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) being introduced in the medical field, you don’t need to go to the doctor and meet them personally for minor treatments. However, we should not underestimate the value of personally interacting with the doctor. Physicians should listen to their patients and treat them well and at every stage they should explain about the treatment, medications, tests etc., and keep patients informed about the possible consequences. Sometimes physicians find it difficult to build a good rapport with the patient during short visits but it does not take too long to obtain information about the patients. The time spent to develop a closer relationship with the patient is time well-spent because it will ensure positive outcomes in terms of improved health outcome for the patient and improved patient satisfaction for the physician.

With the introduction of the EHR, doctors are forced to spend most of their time on medical documentation and related jobs. Busy physicians can hand over the medical documentation process to a competent medical transcription outsourcing company and enjoy the advantages such outsourcing brings.