5 Ways to Achieve Effective Patient Communication

18 Apr 2017 | SOURCE: DAS Health

Patient-Physician CommunicationEffective patient engagement starts with effective communication. Make the most of your time with your patients by employing these quick tips to make the maximum impact:

  • 1. Find out what the patient already knows. Provide the most valuable information and acknowledge patients’ preconceived notions in order to effectively communicate the information you are trying to get across.
  • 2. Don’t give them more than they want. Some patient’s may want every detail on their condition or treatment, while others may simply want to know what actions they need to take. Get a feel for their comprehension and desire for information before providing too much or too little.
  • 3. Show your support. Be empathetic to your patients, and slow down when they need to digest what you are telling them. Avoid interruptions and show that you are listening to their needs to improve patient satisfaction.
  • 4. Keep your body language in mind. Nonverbal communication is a key piece of effective communication. Watch your patient’s facial expressions and adjust your own tone or content accordingly. Convey your own interest and empathy by looking at the patient while speaking, turning towards them and being focused on their needs.
  • 5. Be open and honest. Avoid sugarcoating your communications to maintain clarity and help patients to fully understand your message. Demonstrating compassion is essential, but hiding the truth doesn’t help patients to understand or take action.

Each patient and their needs are different – watching for their nonverbal cues and understand what they need or want from their interaction with you is key to being effective.

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