‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ patients would jokingly say after having a bad experience with healthcare providers. Healthcare staff can sometimes be careless, dissatisfying patients. The way some personnel act influences some patients to decide they won’t go to the same clinic again. This is typically when they’re not given the level of care they expect from healthcare professionals.
These are some terrible scenarios that happen in small clinics. They lose potential clients because they fail to establish trust and provide quality healthcare. To prevent these from happening, communication and appropriate behavior are essential.
Regardless of how big or small a treatment center is, providing high-quality, respectful healthcare should be the goal. Consider these practices to improve patient-physician relationships.
1. Be Approachable
Going to different places can cause anxiety, especially for patients with concerns regarding their health. They’ll ask for directions and try to understand medical jargons that they may encounter during their visit from people they don’t know.
To help them cope with this, small clinics’ health personnel, including their physician, must be approachable. This is one of the common marketing strategies to increase patient volume. It can be done with proper eye contact, posture, and a smile and includes the gesture of patiently listening to their questions. Make sure that the patient’s needs are met and that they feel welcome.
Asking the right questions and doing active listening are keys to effective communication. By asking open-ended questions, you help the patient answer in detail, telling more essential information about their condition that physicians may find helpful.
Secondly, you’d do well to be empathic and understanding and make sure that patients’ feelings are acknowledged and respected. Having the right words can help ease the feelings, fears, and worries of patients.
Lastly, complete transparency and information can help the patient understand the situation better. For instance, in explaining the patient’s illness, tell them about the effective treatments that are aligned with their needs and applicable to their situation. Medical professionals are expected to tell the diagnosis clearly and directly, but even if the news is something bad, delivering it in a caring tone can ease the sadness and fear that patients may feel.
3. Show Commitment And Deliver Professional Care
A physician-patient relationship requires commitment from both parties, which doesn’t end after patients visit the treatment center. For small clinics, appointments that they schedule with patients must be attended to and managed properly to prevent disorganization.
Also, small clinics’ health personnel need to provide quality healthcare, which includes taking care of patients as gently as possible. Patients sometimes practically entrust their lives to healthcare professionals, and they expect that they’ll be fine as long as they’re well taken care of. These gestures establish trust among patients.
4. Embrace and Honor Diversity
Recognizing the cultural differences and uniqueness of patients and respecting their cultural background are necessary. This includes their ethnic roots, language, and literacy. This way, healthcare personnel can be more aware and careful with preconceived negative judgments—for instance, a subtle bias or discrimination regarding the patient’s clothing or physical appearance.
5. Provide Support By Actively Participating In Community Events
Getting out there and sharing knowledge about medicine can help patients know more about the small clinic in their area, especially if it’s new. With a hand equipped with skills and a heart full of good intentions, healthcare workers can build a good reputation and establish a deeper connection with their patients. Aside from the power of word of mouth, in which patients refer their loved ones to a particular clinic, letting others see how a small clinic’s healthcare professionals provide their quality services is a good practice.
6. Utilize Social Media Platforms To Create Virtual Appointments
Many types of appointments, including check-ups in small clinics, are done virtually these days. Telehealth services, as they’re known, can be convenient for patients and healthcare providers in many ways. For example, if a patient is too sick to pay a visit to a treatment center, they can still ask for a consultation from a physician through a video call.
This helps improve physician-patient relationships, especially because patients can still connect with healthcare professionals, regardless of the distance. For small clinics, they can utilize social media platforms to let patients easily reach them for a scheduled appointment.
Small clinics are not as big as hospitals and other treatment centers, but the services that they provide must be of equally high quality. By applying the practices mentioned in this article, small clinics can improve their physician-patient relationships.