There are very few fields in health care that allow healthcare providers to work isolated and most of these don’t involve direct patient care, especially behind the scenes, like research and laboratory work. Quite often, direct patient care roles necessitate interacting with patients in addition to functioning with other medical professionals to provide the best care. In order to provide patients with proper care, understanding their situation and effective communication skills is a major requirement for any devoted healthcare provider. Effective healthcare communication will allow getting better patient outcomes, more cooperation, significantly less errors, job satisfaction and more efficient use of time.
Here are some of the effective communication tips that would allow healthcare providers to receive better patient satisfaction.
1. Use Simple Language
Patients tend to trust and rely on the healthcare professionals who use simple words or language that everyone can understand and are comfortable with. Using difficult medical terminologies with patients will not help gain trust and build confidence and neither will it amaze them. Keeping it simple by using non-medical language will provide better patient outcome and help build trust, which is a paramount factor in a doctor-patient relationship.
2. Communicate Precisely and Clearly
When communicating with a patient, nothing is as essential as precision. Ask about their condition and how they are feeling from the beginning and point everything that can be associated with their condition that they may not be able to explain or even comprehend, in chronological order. Ensure not to make any punctuation mistakes when communicating through email or any other mode of communication that requires writing or typing. Be clear and concise. Ask the patients to tell the key points of your message to make sure they are not missing anything.
3. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Many parts of healthcare training emphasize on what to say and ask the patients. Make use of open-ended questions that can be responded to, simply, with a Yes or a No. This method allows patients to reflect on their condition, pain, problems and symptoms.
4. Understand Non-Verbal Signs
Do not ask the patient whether or not they understand your message, because they may respond with a Yes, even if they do not understand. Read non-verbal signs, that is; their facial or body expressions. If the patient jiggles or shivers quietly with a blank look on face, this can be the first indicator that he or she does not understand the instructions provided. Attentiveness for patient history correlates with high patient satisfaction levels.
5. Use Teach-Back Method
The teach-back method is an approach in the field of healthcare to explain information clearly and accurately. This method educates patients with low health literacy and improves understanding and adherence.
6. Use Technology
Technology provides healthcare providers with many ways to communicate with patients, but it should be used correctly. Don’t inundate patients with messages through multiple platforms as it will overwhelm them. Additionally, while using technology for communication, don’t use vague language or insert emoticons when having a rational conversation. Being clear and direct is paramount for healthcare professionals.
7. Listen And Empathize
Listening to and empathizing with patients is of paramount importance. This involves giving them your attention and acknowledging any emotional cues in their history without judging them. Offering support and nonjudgmental advice encourage patients to convey their fears and depression, making them more receptive to treatment by alleviating their anxiety.
8. Establish a Dialogue
Establishing a dialogue will help health care providers determine if the patient agrees or disagrees with the diagnosis and treatment. Patients who don’t agree with diagnosis tend to terminate the following treatment plan eventually. Try not to give them comprehensive information about drug treatments as they may not want to know. Instead, provide them with details about how the procedure will alleviate their pains and suffering. Highly important is outlining the whole process, laying out a clear path to recovery for patients.
Adopting effective communication not only improves the doctor-patient relationship, but builds trust as well. Make certain to use a polite tone when conveying your message to the patients, especially seniors. These communication tips will surely help caregivers as well to improve their caregiving skills and gain trust of seniors and job satisfactions.