The relationship you establish with your doctor is essential to managing your health, even though at times visiting the doctor can be challenging. There is an excess of information to gather, protocols to follow and insurance to decipher.
The unremitting economic pressure on providers from insurance companies and the government has jeopardized the personal doctor/patient relationship. A physician with thousands of patients has limited time to listen to each one, making it difficult to establish a strong personal bond.
Cutting down on the number of patients a doctor sees to enable more personalized service and enhanced care is driving a growing trend in the medical marketplace, namely that of concierge medicine.
Building a Connection
Emerging technological innovations are offering myriad health care alternatives. The rise of wellness with an emphasis on personalized care is driving patient empowerment and meaningful health discussions. Now more than ever forging a bond with your private physician is essential. The top three reasons include:
- There is considerable healing power in the doctor-patient alliance.
Patients should be full partners in decision-making. Working together toward a health goal offers the opportunity for you to develop a significantly healthier quality of life. The power of the relationship can make you feel better by just providing an explanation, support, hope, time and space for healing.
- Greater transparency leads to better-informed decision.
It takes time to meet with a patient, to reach an accurate diagnosis design and negotiate a mutually agreed upon treatment plan. This process requires time in each visit and often multiple visits. Insurance companies force a rush to judgment despite the fact that the extra time spent on a proper diagnosis and carving out the doctor-patient relationship is considerably more cost-effective over the long-term. Sadly, most primary care physicians spend less than 10 minutes with a new patient on the first visit and are pressured to make a snap diagnosis. Establishing a connection with the patient allows the practitioner to make unrushed judgment calls and discuss future treatment options, rather than just prescribing those indicated by insurance companies.
- Thriving medical encounters demand adequate communication.
Success indicates that the patient and practitioner have developed a partnership, the patient has been thoroughly educated on their condition, and different methods of addressing the problem have been discussed. This technique empowers the patient to be involved actively in the decision-making process and authenticates accepted preconceptions, beliefs and goals. Timely responses to questions outside of office hours in a suitable manner will positively augment the expectation that the doctors are looking out for their patients. Further, it will show that they genuinely care about and are involved in the outcome.
It is the quality, not necessarily the quantity, of physician-patient communication that is indispensable, particularly when time counts. Patients often measure quality by how well their doctor listens, validates a complaint and supports concerns. It is also estimated by how well the practitioner explains the diagnosis and treatment options and involves the patient in decisions regarding future care. These factors play an integral role in the manner that patients comprehend, remember and assess their visits with the doctor.
Evolving Partnerships in Your Health
The availability of powerful treatments is amazing and should enhance, not replace, the healing powers of the doctor/patient relationship. In order to support the relationship, physicians must provide the safest, highest quality of care. They must promote evidence-based medicine that provides examinations and guidance to support patient decision-making. Above all, they should focus on creating the conditions for patients to participate fully in achieving their own health and well-being.