In a 2015 Journal of Participatory Medicine study, 51 people were interviewed and asked the question, “What do you want from your health care?” Respondents gave answers that fit into a dozen themes, but three came up again and again:
- Having a doctor who listens to their patients
- Having a doctor who is caring and compassionate
- Having a doctor who explains problems and solutions well
To put it a different way, it’s clear patients really crave one thing when they go in for an exam: their provider’s attention.
There are a lot of distractions that come up throughout the day at a doctor’s office, so here are some tips doctors can use to focus on delivering top-notch patient care:
Act Like the Patient.
Behavioral mimicry, also known as social mirroring, can be a useful technique for building rapport with others when used effectively. By using similar gestures or posture as the patient, the doctor builds trust with them due to the patient’s subconscious recognition of their own behaviors.
Practice Active Listening.
Although doctors have tight schedules, it’s important to demonstrate that they understand patient concerns. Leaning forward during the conversation, clarifying important details, and avoiding multitasking are all examples of active listening that can be used without lengthening exam time.
Care and Compassion
Use Empathetic Language.
Cold, hard facts are exactly that – insensitive. When delivering information to the patient, doctors should try to inquire about how they feel. Sharing personal anecdotes (without breaching privacy or conduct guidelines) can also be a good way to add humanity to the exam room.
Still following doctor-patient conduct guidelines, doctors can demonstrate care through small physical gestures. A pat on the arm or back, or a handshake upon greeting the patient.
Use Simple Language.
There’s a reason why patients need to come to a doctor. Diagnoses, treatments, and even anatomical terms may be completely foreign to patients and need to explain slowly and in basic terms. Even closing conversations with, “Does that explanation make sense?” is a fantastic way to confirm total transparency with the patient.
How iScribe Can Help
Untether from the EMR.
Overall, delivering a quality patient experience requires dedication, focus, and getting distractions out of the picture. For an overwhelming number of doctors, using EMR systems during exam time is exactly why they can’t deliver the care patients are looking for. Our mobile medical documentation app provides doctors with a simpler, more manageable interface for looking up patient charts, recording new data, and putting their software down sooner so they can focus on the individual instead of the technology.
With tools like our Virtual Scribe Services, providers can be completely hands-free during the patient examination and clicking in the EMR can become a thing of the past. This allows eye-to-eye contact and complete focus on the patient, instead of charting.
To learn more about how iScribe is improving patient care, try iScribe at your practice today.