This month HealthLeaders featured an article on "How to Train Physicians on Patient Experience," which included these three simple steps to improve doctor-patient communication and decrease patient anxiety:
- Introduce Yourself
- Sit Down
- Avoid or Explain Jargon
Simple enough it seems, but physicians come in a spectrum of personalities and some need these reminders frequently. There is also mounting evidence that patients value visual communication in the doctor’s office. More and more physicians are turning to illustrative tools on the iPad like DrawMD to explain diagnoses and procedures that produce more memorable learning. These "Swivel Apps" enable doctor and patient to engage with each other in more meaningful ways. Using the iPad also shifts the dynamic away from the desktop computer and helps doctors make better eye contact with their patients.
Apart from the standard office visit, a blog in the Huffington Post called for additional patient experience focus after someone has been diagnosed. In "After Acceptance," two MDs call for physicians to help their patients find personal meaning in their illnesses to help them become empowered. Support groups can play a large part in this:
"Support groups are a powerful but often overlooked source of resilience in the face of serious illness, and for many, taking part can be key to gaining a personal illness identity." Support groups can meet in person or increasingly share experiences and questions in private social networks created specifically around the diagnoses, or the doctor, or the care program.
We felt this is true for all healthcare encounters, which is why our Guidance technology includes swivel apps as well as online communities to provide opportunities for patients to connect to other patients like them, as well as their own personal care team, for support. Feel free to reach out to learn more.