IMA Patients Care

Are physicians itself sometimes responsible for non-compliance of the patient?

 A little change of attitude or a compassionate act of interacting with the patient can help patient adhere to treatment and restrict them from doctor shopping. A happy patient and an engaged patient reduces the occurrence of a medical error and its legal consequences too. An effort to engage your patient, in a way, can make your practice smoother and safer as it seems to be now. A recent discussion in this forum on medical error mentioned that hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. This seems to be a really wake up call for all the clinicians who are practicing in the hospital as well as in the private clinic. There are few no-cost ways that medical staff can adopt to become more respected and high performing with their patients. You can remain authentic while adopting these techniques. The two highest impact moments in patient interaction are the first and last moments in their experience with you, i.e. when a patient first enters your clinic and when the patient is leaving after consultation.

The non-clinical acts that can really change the mind of a patient towards you and your treatment are as follows:
A warm smile Show an expression of geniality on your face, with slightly elevated eyebrows and a warm smile – not a wide grin. This is the expression of caring being present in the moment.

Go slow and low, fewer hand gestures Go slow to go fast. Adopt the Lower, Slower, and Less Effect. In the beginning of a patient interaction and at the end, speak in a lower voice, and slower. Move more slowly and use fewer and lower arm and hand gestures. This conveys gravitas, warmth, and credibility. A touch of warmth Shake hands. If it feels appropriate also briefly place your other hand over theirs as you are shaking hands or tap them lightly on the back part of one arm, slightly above the elbow.

 Eye contact Address the patient by name, looking directly at the patient, at the same eye level, when possible. Act like the patient does-Imitate the positive behavior of the patient

 Act right — somewhat like them. We all have many facets to our personality and different people bring out different ones. One strong way to connect with someone is to show the part of your temperament that is most like the positive behavior the patient is exhibiting. For example, if the patient tends to move and speak quickly, exhibit the more active side of yourself. Mirror neurons kick in and, as you act more like the patient, that patient is more likely to like you. You seem more familiar to the patient.

 Ambiance has a role to play Wherever possible have a plain background behind you. The patient is better able to concentrate on what you are saying. In other words, avoid standing in front of a shelf of medical supplies, for example

. Sensory cues can help you bond, or not. While rare, some medical staff wear patterned clothing. Patterns, especially on the upper half of your body, distract others, even though they may not be consciously aware of this effect. They will not hear as much nor be as accurate in what they remember. Plus, where possible, speak to patients where the wall behind you is less patterned and the ambient noise is less.

Speak the language of your patient Pay obvious, close attention. When they ask a question or make a comment, prove that you heard them by first repeating what they said, rather than paraphrasing in your language, before answer the question or responding to the comment.

 Praise your patient At some point authentically praise or acknowledge something the patient said or did, characterizing their action with language that reinforces some trait related to their positive self-image. For example, you might say, “I am delighted that you are being so conscientious in reviewing the treatment with me,” or “It’s always good to see patients who actively ask questions because it means they are really focused on getting good care.” Do not confuse with too many options

Avoid offering more than three options from which patients or colleagues must choose at one time as it puts people in overwhelm. They are less able to make a choice and often less satisfied with the choice they make, according to Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice, who credibly refutes recent disagreement with this conclusion citing the

Affordable Care Act as an example.  Practice 3-4 tips from this list at a time. Keep improving and changing our patient engagement strategy by implementing a personalized approach. Besides improving patient outcomes, the rewards for you can feel enormous. You may find less burnt out at your work and more satisfying. As an obvious consequence, your colleagues and patients will become more responsive, supportive and appreciative.

Based on Doctors: Act Right So More Patients Like You And Comply, Reducing Medical Errors
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