A good patient-doctor relationship is essential for providing better patient care but often doctors are hurried and patients barely get time to communicate with their physicians. This is because with EHR implementation, doctors have turned into clerical staff as they are forced to spend more time on the computer documenting medical records. To free up time and reduce workload, physicians can obtain support from medical transcription companies. This is one way of ensuring more quality time to build a strong rapport with patients.
In medical schools, physicians are taught how to communicate but not much focus is given to important aspects like patient care, relationship building and dealing with patients’ emotions. It is vital to develop a strong bond between the patient and doctor as it encourages patients to share their concerns with the doctor and improve communication. This in turn can ensure higher quality patient care and good health outcomes.
Patients who have established a good rapport with their healthcare providers communicate well and engage with providers even outside the hospital settings. When doctors don’t take time to listen to patients, they may miss out crucial health cues and even misdiagnose illnesses. Therefore, it is important to engage with patients, exchange information and build a positive relationship. At every stage, physicians should explain about the treatment, medication, tests etc and keep the patient informed about the possible health consequences that may occur. Physicians should strive to put their patients in charge of their own healthcare and make them understand the importance of following all the given instructions.
Vidal and Lisa lezzoni, MD professor of medicine at Harvard school and director of Mongan institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston suggest six ways for patients to maintain a good relationship with the doctor.
- Patients must be open to their physician as it helps them to provide better treatment and medication. They should be frank about any unhealthy habits they may have so that doctors can recommend lifestyle changes for better health outcomes.
- Patients shouldn’t assume that physicians know what they want. In case the patient wants to make his/her own choice of treatment, it is necessary to share it with the doctor.
- If the patient has made a treatment decision, he/she should convey it to the doctor, or find out if the doctor has any recommendations to offer. This helps patients improve their knowledge about their health condition.
- Patients can schedule a time to communicate with the doctor over phone or email, if they find it difficult to talk face to face with the doctor. This could help them open up more.
- Preparing a set of questions that patients want to discuss with the doctor could help. This not only saves time, but also ensures that patients do not forget any crucial points.
- Sharing what patients have in mind with their doctor is important. Clarifying all doubts is vital to avoid any kind of misunderstanding.
A medical transcription company working closely with physicians knows that better communication between the doctor and patient ensures more accurate documentation. Gaps in communication could lead to gaps in the medical reports, and lack of clarity. Better communication results in better documentation and better care. For this the primary requirement is a strong rapport between the physician and patient. Both physicians and patients must work sincerely towards achieving this objective and improving healthcare outcomes.