The Importance of Effective Communication Between Doctors and Patients
Research suggests that hospitals and medical practitioners across the US could have avoided 2,000 patient deaths if it were not for doctor patient miscommunication.
This shows that patient care and wellbeing relies not only on the expertise of the doctor or the efficiency and quality of equipment, but also on their relationship with the doctor.
Communication is important at every step of the process and strong communication policies are vital when it comes to patient care. These include a thorough history of the patient taken by medical specialists and even the communication between patients and doctors.
Here are some factors that highlight the importance of effective communication between doctors and patients.
Communication Impacts Patient Safety
A lack of communication often results in a large number of patient deaths in hospitals around the world. To avoid these severe consequences and to maximize patient safety, effective communication is important.
Inter-hospital vs. Intrahospital
Communication between doctors and patients involves communications between doctors about the patient.
This is of two types: inter-hospital communication occurs when a patient is being moved from one hospital to another and his information needs to be communicated to the new doctors and staff who will be treating them.
And the second is intrahospital where details regarding schedule of surgery, room changes, allergies, changes in condition, etc. need to be effectively communicated between personnel within the same hospital.
Both of these kinds of communication are essential for the wellbeing of the patient as any missed information could result in fatalities.
Research suggests that doctors are able to perform better and deal with patients better when they have a better understanding of their ailments. They are less frustrated and better equipped to handle questions from the attendant as well as the patient.
Patient satisfaction is directly related to how much they understand what they are facing, their ailment, as well as their treatment plan and procedure.
Effective communication increases the patient’s trust in their doctor, and this makes them more compliant to the doctor’s recommendations and advice.
How Can a Patient Help Themselves?
In order to have effective communication with your doctor, it is important that you ask questions and also explain in as much detail as possible your physical ailments and give a detailed history of your past activities, symptoms, family history, etc.
It is also important that once diagnosed, you read up on your ailment to clear any doubts and misconceptions. This will help you ask your doctor more relevant questions and also make informed decisions.
How We Can Help
Andy Lazris, MD, is a primary care physician, writer of fiction and non-fiction, and speaker. Through our online non-fiction bookstore, you can buy affordable non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects. We offer health benefit related books, health care system related books, COVID-19 related books, and much more.
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