Patient Communication and Responsibility, doctor holding patient's hands

Facilitating Effective Patient Communication and Responsibility

Effective Patient and Public Involvement (PPI), as well as a focus on patient communication and responsibility, is incredibly important for physicians to provide the best possible care. This approach creates the act of delivering healthcare, a shared and collaborative approach which is a slight shift, albeit a positive one from decades past. Physicians today are interested in patient discussions and communications, asking questions and taking an active role in their treatment. Doing so helps them to do their jobs more effectively.

Some of the communications and responsibilities that patients should know are the following:

  • Report complete and accurate health information to the best of the patient’s knowledge
  • Follow their treatment plan as advised or discuss alternative options
  • Ask questions when things are not clear, or there is a concern about the treatment options
  • Keep your appointments for care and arrive on time, which is a benefit to themselves, the practice and other patients
  • Continue to be knowledgeable of the financial obligations that go along with care and avoid late payments
  • Abide by the practice or facility’s guidelines and policies, including the rights of other patients

While the above communication is in an ideal world, many physicians know that achieving this type of communication can be difficult. Below are some ways to help bridge the divide between physician and patient interaction.

Technology

We live in a day in age where technology is all around us. The technology used in patient communications can strengthen information sharing and streamline efforts without even needing the physician and patient to be in the same room. Smartphone apps, for instance, can collect and share valuable information in simple and effective ways.

Patient portals are another great way to facilitate patient communication and responsibility. Through the use of an online portal, patients can manage their appointments, view claims, and financial obligation information as well as inform patients of a particular practice’s rules, regulations, and patient rights.

Physician / Patient Relationship

The rapport that a physician has with their patients can go a long way in increasing the amount of patient communication and improve the quality of care. Physicians who have genuine empathy for their patients will be able to achieve a much deeper level of connection with their patients.  That improved patient connection allows for better quality of care and comprehensive treatment.

In summary, there are essential elements of patient communication and responsibility that need to be nurtured in every physician/patient relationship. The ways to achieve it can be both in the technological advances we benefit from today but also the basics of the physician/patient relationship that has been the foundation of care for centuries.

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Related: Hospitals and Medical Practices