According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), patient-provider relationships are the most important consideration for consumers evaluating the quality of their care. In an article reporting on the survey, PatientEngagementHIT offers suggestions for healthcare organizations looking to improve this relationship. Those suggestions boil down to three key traits of successful relationships.
1. Express clinician empathy
Author Sara Heath notes, “When clinicians have empathy, they can connect with their patients on an important level that makes the patient feel understood and cared for.”
At Vera, providers and health coaches practice empathetic listening to cultivate meaningful relationships with their patients. Because they feel that their needs are truly heard, patients are more satisfied with their experience and more likely to follow-through on treatment plans.
2. Practice strong communication skills
The CAPP survey found that the majority of consumers want a clinician that listens to their concerns and explains things clearly. Clear communication ensures that patients understand their health problems and take the right steps toward solving them.
Providers also communicate with other members of a patient’s dedicated care team, including a health coach and medical staff, to ensure consistent messaging at every point of a patient’s care. And at the population level, Vera on-site clinics operate a regular forum, known as the Whole Health Council, where employees have the opportunity to provide feedback about clinic operations.
3. Drive shared decision-making
The survey also found that patients who are involved in making decisions about their healthcare, including treatment options, are more likely to have a positive experience with their treatment and their provider.
Vera providers and health coaches partner with patients to develop personalized care plans that acknowledge a patient’s goals and barriers to better health. Working together, dedicated care teams and patients create achievable goals, identify treatment options, and work toward better health outcomes.
Vera brings it all together
“Each of these principles are interrelated. Without strong communication, it is difficult to facilitate shared decision-making and express empathy. Thus, it is crucial that providers work to integrate each of these key characteristics into their practice as providers seek to build stronger patient-provider relationships,” concludes Heath.
Vera’s clinical experience is fundamentally tied to the relationship between empathy, communication, and shared decision-making. When combined, these three factors are powerful drivers of patient health outcomes.
Empathetic listening practices set the stage for patients, providers, and dedicated care teams to create open communication and foster collaborative environments in which patients are empowered to take ownership of their own health.