Like any relationship, the patient care partnership is founded on communication. At base, as explained on Nursetogether.com, senders communicate messages to receivers, but clinicians are often under intense stress that weakens relationships. The following pointers can help overcome that stress and ensure high-quality care through strong partnerships.
1. Focus on Patients
As shown on the Health Affairs Blog, patient-centered care works to improve outcomes and satisfaction through strong patient care partnerships. Therefore, health care team members use clear and empathetic communication to provide support across various settings. In the process, they work to equip patients with the skills to prevent and manage illness on their own.
2. Center Relationships
Impersonal institutional culture can lead practitioners to ignore patient care partnerships. However, Goold and Lipkin noted that it is key to managing data, diagnoses, plans, and compliance. So, center relationships and increase patient comfort by getting to know them, their families, and their interests.
3. Set the Agenda
As Henbest and Stewart shows, centering patients orients healthcare around their specific concerns. In particular, practitioners should start by having patients list their issues and then collaborate on an agenda from most to least important. At that point, the two of you can create a plan of action together.
4. Listen Carefully
Reflective listening builds on the directed attention of active listening. Care providers specifically listen without interrupting and then reflect patients’ concerns back to them. Allowing people to tell their story will help you obtain information and, as shown by Clark et al. improve outcomes, behavior, and patient satisfaction.
5. Be Mindful
Communication’s increasing complexity can put heavy demands on providers’ attention, making it difficult to be conscientious in one’s work. On the other hand, mindfulness – or being fully present in one’s practice – can prevent errors and relieve stress for patients and practitioners, as Hutchinson and Dobkin demonstrate in their research.
6. Manage Emotions
Managing emotions is one of the most valuable communication skills when dealing with the difficult situations of modern healthcare. Kim et al. highlight empathy’s role in boosting trust, compliance, and satisfaction. Team members should thus identify, acknowledge, and respectfully address emotions.
For help in decision-making, patients require an understanding of treatments, consequences, and steps in healing. You should provide websites, reading materials, videos, and other resources to help patients learn more. As shown on the Health Affairs Blog, education generally reduces re-admission while raising moral support and mental stability.
8. Increase Access
Information technology provides one way to minimize wait times and otherwise boost health care efficiency. For instance, electronic health records give patients greater access to their health goals, needs, values, and preferences. As noted on Medscape, such technology challenges the physician’s traditional role and nurtures the patient care partnership.
9. Improve Facilities
Greene et al noted that medical facilities should be improved. From medical jargon used in signs to nurses’ stations that are situated oddly far from patients, these buildings are fundamentally designed around clinicians’ needs alone. Centering such spaces around patients can help create more empathetic environments that help patients feel involved in their health care.
10. Get Feedback
Providing and receiving feedback are reassuring activities, as shown in a study from Perspectives on Medical Education. Many clinicians survey patients and use the results to improve their communication and behavior. Such surveys also help patients trust their providers and feel more involved in their health.
With consistent practice, these tips can strengthen a patient care partnership – and improve care quality, safety, and efficiency. In the process, both sides of this partnership will better endure – and to improve the conditions of modern medicine.
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