AquinaApril 2, 2019

Building Better Doctor-Patient Relationships in Less Time

Building Better Doctor-Patient Relationships in Less Time

The pressures of a modern clinical practice have created a catch-22 for physicians and other medical professionals. Faced with reduced reimbursements from payers, combined with ever-increasing productivity goals and documentation requirements, the only way to ensure a practice’s financial health is to see more patients in less time.

However, in this new age of healthcare consumerism, therein lies the problem; reducing the amount of time spent with patients can not only reduce the quality of care but also the perception of the patient that they are being cared for adequately. Gone unaddressed, this cycle can ultimately damage the patient-doctor relationship and a practice’s bottom line.

Doing more with less.

Healthcare consumerism is causing patients to act more like traditional retail customers due to the increased financial responsibility that has resulted from the popularity of high-deductible health plans. They are more willing to shop around than ever before to get the best prices for treatment, and generally expect more from their physicians and other providers since so much of the cost for services is coming directly out of their own pockets. But how can medical professionals do more than what they’re already doing, when faced with less and less time in which to get it all done?

Stronger relationships on limited time.

Although it may seem like an impossible situation, there are ways for physicians to maximize the time they do have in order to enhance the doctor-patient relationship and deliver high-quality care, even when the time is limited. Some of these practices can even help reduce physician burnout when implemented consistently. Here are three ways that even the most time-crunched medical professional can help connect with patients even when the time is short.

  1. Be present: Given the hectic environment of medical practices, this can be difficult to master. However, the simple truth is that anyone who wants to become more mindful when interacting with patients, can.  
  2. Listen actively: It may be tempting to stare at the computer screen or the patient’s intake paperwork and nod blankly at random intervals while a patient is talking, but that won’t make for a better relationship with them. Back to basics, here — shake the patient’s hand, sit facing them, look them in the eye, mirror body language, and reflect back to them the information they’ve just supplied so that they know you’ve heard them. 
  3. Respond with gratitude: Healthcare consumerism means that patients are paying more for care, and therefore have chosen to spend their hard-earned money on their provider. Being genuinely grateful for their faith and trust and communicating that effectively to patients can go a long way toward building a stronger relationship with them over time.

Curae lets physicians focus on relationships instead of finances.

Given the limited time medical professionals have available to spend with their patients, it’s important that they are able to use that time effectively to address health concerns, not treatment costs. This is where Curae can help. With its ability to be integrated directly into the patient intake process before the physician even enters the treatment room, Curae gives patients the power to more easily finance their own health care needs. This ultimately allows clinicians to do what they do best — provide care. To begin the process of adding Curae to your practice, visit today.