Improving Patient Experience – 3 Rules For Interpersonal Patient Care
Radiology departments across the country have been taking steps to change the way we think about patient care in order to provide an environment that is more focused on the patient’s experience. In order to take patient care to the next level, we need to take a hard look at how our patients see us and rethink the traditional approaches that we have settled for in the past. In our previous article, we discussed the importance of the environment in which our patients receive their testing and treatments. Now, we’re going to take a closer look at the way in which we relate to patients on a personal level. There are three things you can do to take patient experience to the next level, as is discussed in this Aunt Minnie article by Kate Madden Yee based on a report from the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
- Listen – When you have to deal with a high number of patients on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget just how important the art of listening is in the process of treating a patient. Vital signs are important, test results are important – but so is the information the patient shares with you about their condition. They know better than anyone else how they’re feeling and in order to give them the best treatment possible, we need to know whatever they want to relate to us in regards to their medical situation. Perhaps even more important is the fact that if a patient knows you care enough to listen, they’ll have a greater level of trust and confidence in your ability to provide care for them.
- Express Empathy – The best way to show a patient empathy is to genuinely be empathetic. While that might sound simplistic, many experts suggest that putting ourselves in other people’s shoes is a skill that can be practiced and cultivated. Each patient you come into contact with is another chance to practice this skill. Eventually it can become a habit and your patients will sense that your compassion for their situation is genuine. Empathy is an invaluable aspect of patient care and one that should be a big part of the patient experience.
- Communicate – The other quality that patients respond to is open communication. This can be as simple as letting them know you are listening to their problems, but it also means informing them of the details of procedures they are undergoing and letting them know about the time frame in which they can expect test results. For example, a patient is much more likely to be accepting of longer wait times for test results if they are informed of the matter beforehand rather than being in the dark about the process.
Better patient care can start today. A good rule of thumb is treat a patient the way you would treat a close family member. By being open to your patients, actively listening and expressing empathy, you’ll do wonders in reducing their anxieties and vastly improving their patient experience. It’s part of the job of a technologist to make their patients’ lives a little bit easier. At Techno-Aide we believe it’s part of our job to make your life a little bit easier, too. Come browse our site to learn about our higher standard of patient handling equipment.