Effective communication in a medical environment is crucial to the well-being of your patients. Indeed, patients need to be in a position where they can talk openly to their doctors in the knowledge they will receive the best care they deserve. Therefore, communication plays a significant role in enhancing the experience within the hospital and creating a positive interaction for the patient.
When the doctor fails to communicate clearly and positively with the patients, it can affect the whole process. Contrary to common belief, poor communication can have much more serious consequences than confusing or frustrating your patients.
The patient isn’t satisfied with the outcome
In a medical environment, doctors, surgeons, and nurses need to ensure they explain clearly what is going to happen. Medical procedures can require specialist jargon, which is precisely where misunderstanding and poor communication mishaps occur. If a patient fails to understand the potential risks of a procedure, they might agree to it with different expectations. While dissatisfaction doesn’t register as medical malpractice, experienced medical malpractice attorneys can argue that failure to prepare the patient for their medical procedure is an act of medical negligence.
The patient leaves a negative review
Hospitals and clinics are businesses that need to manage their financial health to survive. When a patient feels that poor communication affected their care, they can leave a negative review. Negative reviews can hurt the hospital as a business, especially if you don’t mitigate the feedback online. Doctors can respond to feedback, offering their apologies and trying to resolve the issue with the patient. It can be helpful to gain a better understanding of the situation. Additionally, you can also learn from the misadventure to avoid reproducing the same mistake in the future.
They stop coming to their appointments
After a negative experience, some patients can lose their trust in the medical profession. As a result, patients could prefer to avoid medical appointments altogether as they don’t want to relive the same experience again. While the behavior is understandable at an emotional level, it can be highly harmful to the patient’s health. Therefore, it’s crucial to re-establish communication when you fear a patient is avoiding the clinic.
They are stressed out
A poor experience can be traumatic to fragile individuals. Not everyone perceives the situation in the same way. To a patient, it could be a case of not feeling comfortable with their doctor. But to someone sensitive or more emotionally vulnerable, they could feel that the doctor doesn’t understand them or want to help them. This could lead to high anxiety levels, which makes it difficult for patients to attend medical appointments. Anxious patients are less likely to provide an accurate medical history of their symptoms and health complaints when their stress levels rise.
You lose a patient
In the worst-case scenario, the patient chooses to visit a different clinic. As mentioned, hospitals are businesses. Therefore, losing a patient to poor communication can have non-negligible monetary impacts.
Communication is an essential skill in the medical environment. Effective communication can breach the gap between doctors and patients, making complicated diagnoses understandable and helping toward recovery. Yet, poor communication can dramatically affect the hospital, the doctor’s reputation, and the patient’s health.