THE NO. 1 THING PATIENTS WANT: 5 STEPS TO IMPROVE THE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

Becker’s Hospital Review had a recent article on improving the physician-patient relationship. In addition to this list, we would suggest 5 steps we have in our CLEAR initiative. 1. Connect with the patient. 2. Listen to the patient. 3. Explain what you are doing. 4. Agree on a treatment plan with the patient. 5. Have the patient Repeat the treatment plan.

Here’s 5 ways to improve the relationship according to William Maples, MD, executive director and chief experience officer of The Institute for Healthcare Excellenceand CMO of Professional Research Consultants.

1. Understand how patient experience impacts quality, safety and efficiency.

2. Invest in providing physicians and caregivers skills. Learning about communication in a skilled-based learning format, where physicians and caregivers are actually practicing skills they need, can position a healthcare organization for improvement on all levels.

3. Engage physician leadership. Physician leaders are not always part of the conversation on how to improve the patient experience, but it is necessary to invite them to lead this effort.

4. Be patient. There is often a need for immediate gratification when it comes to improving patient experience scores or creating a positive culture change. Healthcare leaders want to see scores go up next month and witness the shift to a patient-centered, team-based culture, but neither of these are brisk tasks.

5. Plan to engage every single person on the caregiver team. This includes employees from the business office and environmental services to nurses and physicians.