Most people don’t like going to the doctor. For some, it could be dealing with medical conditions or worrying about what they might learn if they finally schedule that appointment. For others, it’s more a matter of worrying about being judged or not really being seen or understood.
No matter what their individual challenges or how nervous they were coming into the office, no patient should leave feeling worse than when they arrived. Provide the kind of care to your patients that makes them feel comfortable and supported with these tips.
Join a Larger Healthcare Network
Health histories are complex. Most people see multiple doctor’s throughout their lifetime, which means what one doctor knows another may not. Without training, many people don’t know what kinds of symptoms they should bring up with their doctor. With these two things combined, it’s no wonder that most patients don’t get the most out of their appointments with medical professionals.
Make it easier for them and you by searching for care collaboration solutions. With a care coordination platform, healthcare providers can plug into a larger network of hospitals, community providers, and more to discover additional information about a patient they didn’t know, all without having to ask the patient to fill out lengthy paperwork or answer the same questions they have already been asked a million times.
Prepare Before Each Appointment
You want your patients to do a little prep before coming into your office. It helps you help them the way they want to be helped. If you want them to prepare by coming up with questions and bringing along a list of their medications, then you should set a good example and prepare too!
A few minutes before your scheduled appointment, take a minute to look over their medical file. See what kinds of procedures they have had done, what medical challenges they are facing, and what is bringing them in for their visit that day.
If nothing else, make sure you know their name, and if you have seen them before, try and remember who they are. If you greet your patients like old friends, they are more likely to relax and get the most out of their appointment.
Take Time With Each Patient
Daily schedules can be tight, and depending on who you work for, you may find that you have to schedule a certain number of appointments each day. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you should always be looking for ways to spend as much time with each patient as they need and send them off with get well wishes.
The median length of a medical visit is just over 15 minutes long. That’s not a lot of time for patients who have multiple medical issues.
Schedule a few less appointments each day to get more time with your patients, if that’s something you can do. If not, consider reaching out to patients who require a little more support through email after their appointment is over, or ask them to make another, longer appointment to go over other concerns.
Always Learn More
Medicine is an ever-evolving field. You can’t just obtain your degree, get your certification, and find a job. Providing the best care possible means keeping your eye on the latest research.
Above and beyond the maintenance of certification requirements associated with your area of expertise, you should also take a passionate stance on lifelong learning. Dig into the latest research in your area of medicine, but you should also look into research that may inform how you treat patients more generally, like the latest research on obesity or how mental health affects physical health.
Take Care of Yourself
Most doctors are extremely busy, but that doesn’t mean you should put taking care of yourself at the bottom of your to-do list. In order to take care of others, you first have to take care of yourself.
Not only will you have more energy to take care of your patients on a daily basis, they will also be more likely to heed your advice in the exam room if you take your own advice outside the clinic!
A few tips for taking care of yourself include:
- Bring a healthy lunch so you aren’t grabbing fast food at work.
- Squeeze in a little exercise, even if it’s only ten minutes each day.
- If you have time you can take off, take it!
With these tips, you can let your patients know that you truly care about them, which enhances your relationship, as well as their health.