The doctor-patient relationship has long been a cornerstone of medical practice and healthcare. However, as more and more doctors are overworked and worn out by the day-to-day demands of running a practice, they have little time or energy left to focus on building and maintaining long-term patient relationships.
The physician-patient relationship is an integral part of the practice of medicine since time immemorial. In fact, this relationship is the foundation of medical ethics. Fostering and investing in a long-term patient relationship can be a difficult and arduous process, but one that can reap various rewards and benefits for the healthcare practitioner.
Initially, establishing such a bond will prove to be challenging for young new doctors. Patients may not be familiar with the physician and may question their abilities and expertise from time to time.
As practice matures, these problems will eventually disappear. On the other hand, doctors must remain vigilant and attentive to the needs of their patients over the years, and continue to invest in the relationship.
Trust is an important concept in the healthcare industry. The medical practice, in general, involves a degree of risk and uncertainty. Patients often feel vulnerable and they rely heavily on the expertise and competence of the caregiver.
A high level of trust between the healthcare professional and the patients is associated with many benefits for both parties, including the perception of improved care, a higher level of acceptance for the treatment offered as well reduced anxiety on the part of the patient.
A doctor, like any other service provider, is expected to act with honesty and integrity in order to forge better and long-lasting relationships with their clients. It is of paramount importance that patients have confidence in their physician’s ability to advise and treat them properly.
An honest practice will help the patient understand that the doctor is acting in their best interests. On the contrary, if the patients feel that they are being dishonest with them in any way, the medical practitioners will likely lose their respect, trust and credibility.
Staying Connected with Patients
As we journey through the digital age, we like to say that we are more connected than ever. However, this also means that we now have less and less real human contact. As far as the field of medicine is concerned, this lack of human connection is adversely affecting the doctor-patient relationship.
On the flip side, some would argue that technology has not reduced but slightly altered the doctor-patient relationship.
In order to maintain lasting relationships with your patients, you must stay connected with them as their preferred doctor. In fact, promoting trust between the healthcare provider and the patient is essential in the new e-health environment.
Whereas in the past the doctor only communicated face-to-face with their patients, now they can stay connected round the clock and offer much better and inclusive care with the help of emails, chat communications and even virtual visits.