A strong relationship between the doctor and patient is important on multiple levels for the care of the patient. If a patient believes in the competence and skill of the doctor, they may be more willing to reveal certain aspects of their medical issues or trust and implement specific medical advice from their doctor into their treatment.
When it comes to treatment and recovery, a patient’s mental outlook is almost as important as their physical status. Patient recovery periods may decrease if they believe that have had and are currently receiving the most effective medical treatment available. Likewise, a doctor may be more comfortable with a patient who has shown trust, relieving the doctor’s worries about malpractice claims and expanding their possibilities for treatment. The doctor and patient can both take steps toward increasing their trust for one another, thus strengthening their relationship and fostering an atmosphere of encouragement and care.
Lay Out a Thorough Plan
It’s the responsibility of both the patient and doctor to establish a thorough plan for the patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery periods. For the patient, this means understanding every step of the process and asking the necessary questions when they arise. If a patient is not clear on their plan from the beginning, they may lose trust in their doctor and consequently harm the relationship. By making sure they understand the doctor’s goals, the patient is confirming their trust in the doctor’s abilities and is mentally prepared to pursue treatment.
The doctor’s responsibility is to establish personalized treatment plans for each of their patients. Sometimes, it can be easy to give patients with the same ailments similar treatment plans. However, every patient is unique and their treatment plans will vary depending on their age, sex, or general health. By tailoring each patient’s plan directly to their individual capabilities, the doctor ensures that the patient is comfortable with their plan. Also, it’s the doctor responsibility to put medical jargon into plain terms for the patient so there is no miscommunication between the two.
Communicate Between Doctors, Patients, and Insurance Policies
Insurance policies can have elaborate and difficult legal wordings. Most patients do not fully understand their own coverage policies and insurance representatives often emphasize particular points to patients or doctors in order to make their policies sound more appealing. Other times, insurance representatives may try to dictate the treatment of their client based upon what’s in the best interest of the company.
It’s the responsibility of the doctor and patient to work together to make sure the treatment plan that they have laid out falls within the patient’s insurance policy. Ideally, all three groups share the same primary concern, which is that of the health of the patient. However, if a patient perceives that they are not receiving treatment that is to their greatest benefit, they may look to place blame on their doctor. Once the trust is lost, the relationship is destroyed. In order to avoid these situations, most hospitals offer financial assistance teams to help the doctors and patients work together within a specific insurance policy.
Utilize Every Resource, Including Each Other
Many patients turn to the internet to research a diagnosis they have received or to identify certain symptoms they may be having. While there is some great information available on the web, patients should make sure that they trust the word of their doctor over the words they read online. Every individual’s diagnosis is unique, and information found on the internet may apply to broad diagnoses that aren’t applicable to the particular patient’s situation.
Doctors should consider different resources they can use to effectively communicate with their patients. Electronic mobile devices are excellent ways to visualize information and can be extremely useful in explaining a complicated concept. As long as the patient and doctor have open communication with one another, utilizing outside resources to better understand a treatment or diagnosis can benefit the patient/doctor relationship.
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