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The Health Care Blog: A patient's perspective

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:13am
The Health Care Blog: A patient's perspective: "As a customer relations expert and a concerned healthcare observer, I must comment on doctor's turning a deaf ear to patient input.

Two things to remember:

-You don't have to read an entire stack of articles that a 'patient customer' brings you. To minimize how often this happens, give them more *undivided attention when you see them, more empathy, and much more clear updates on their condition. If they are bringing you a stack of articles, it is one sign that you have not earned their trust yet. Else they would more likely just ask you if you were familiar with xyz info.

-Turning a deaf ear to patient customer is disrespectful and breeds long term mistrust of the entire medical community. Mistrustful customers are tougher to deal with next time. Many doctors (not all) like to be in control. They frequently present options as must haves. Answer our questions doctors, present options, and make your recommendations -- without the attitude that you have something better to do. The sooner you do it, the sooner you will be free to move on to what is next in your schedule and your life. It takes less time when you give patient customers your focus and your respect -- not more. Listen to the questions and answer them clearly. Then your patient customer will relax."

If doctors remember that both doctor and patient are on the same side ( the patient's !) , life becomes much easier. It's only when we start thinking of patients in an adversarial role; or resent them for taking upo so much of our time, that we start running into trouble.

Reframing your perspective, by thinking of your patients as "research assistants" who will educate you about their problem, can help a lot !
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