While your main job as a healthcare professional is to provide excellent medical care and quality treatment, your patients will also expect other aspects from your service. It’s essential to ensure you meet these expectations to keep your patients happy, along with making them feel listened to and well looked after.
Building trust between yourself and your patients is an essential component in establishing a good relationship. It allows you to be more empathetic and provide a clear recovery plan, all of which will have a positive impact on your patients’ experiences.
We explore how to ensure your patients leave your care feeling satisfied, and what could happen if they don’t.
Listen to their concerns
Every time you interact with a patient, you should allow them to ask questions or discuss any concerns they may have. Listen to what they say and ensure you don’t interrupt or jump in before they’ve finished talking.
Discuss their questions and concerns with compassion and empathy. Never make dismissive comments or respond condescendingly. Even if a question or concern seems irrelevant to you, it’s important to your patient, so ensure you make them feel validated and heard.
Patients want to be understood and treated with respect by their doctors and medical team. They feel valued when the context of their lives is considered when their treatment plans are presented to them.
Your ability to assess what is important to each person, such as religious beliefs, hopes and desires, is an essential aspect of providing quality healthcare and goes a long way to building a connection between you and your patients.
Offer clear recovery plans post-surgery
Patients are often consumed with emotions such as fear and anxiety before a procedure. This can affect their ability to pay attention to what they are told or to retain the self-care information you give.
Provide your patients with a written plan for their post-surgery recovery, as well as educational materials and instructions on what to do if they have any problems or concerns. Not only will this help your patient to care for themselves appropriately once they are discharged, but it will also make them feel at ease, knowing you have a clear plan for their recovery.
What can happen if your patients are not satisfied?
If a patient is not satisfied with the level of care they receive, they could claim for clinical negligence. This can result in the NHS having to pay out a significant amount of money to settle a claim unless the case goes to court.
Being involved in a clinical negligence claim could have devastating consequences for your medical career. You may experience reputational damage and could be at risk of losing your licence to practise.
You could face a criminal conviction if the negligence is deemed to be deliberate, although this is a rare occurrence in the UK.