How to Improve Patient Relationship this Holiday Season

November 20, 2015
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The holiday season is a time of giving, making memories, overeating and probably more than one family squabble. In addition to finding tips online on how to host the best holiday party ever, the Internet has a plethora of ways to manage stress, repair relationships and even keep extra pounds at bay. With the holiday frenzy, medical offices always have an increase in the amount of patients seen each day, and it is easy to become overwhelmed and not be as pleasant as you usually are. 

The holiday season is a time of giving, making memories, overeating and probably more than one family squabble. In addition to finding tips online on how to host the best holiday party ever, the Internet has a plethora of ways to manage stress, repair relationships and even keep extra pounds at bay. With the holiday frenzy, medical offices always have an increase in the amount of patients seen each day, and it is easy to become overwhelmed and not be as pleasant as you usually are. 

Communication is Key

It’s here the question arises on how to improve relationships with patients during the holiday season. There is no exception that a patient’s experience is influenced by the care they receive. Through effective communication, a patient will be put at ease, taken seriously and reassured. They should be able to voice their opinions completely without concern of being judged by their healthcare professionals. In addition, they should feel empowered and be motivated to follow the medical regimen set forth for them. Patients should always be given time to speak and be treated with respect. 

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Top-notch communication is not only geared towards physicians. Nurses and all other healthcare staff need to be good listeners and help make patients feel as if they are receiving their undivided attention. Although this can be a challenge when the phones are ringing off the hook or other patients are waiting to be seen, identifying challenges before the holiday rush begins can do wonders to alleviate unneeded stress.

Take Advantage of Technology

Over the last several decades, there have been many improvements in modern medicine, and although these technical improvements have improved efficacy, there are times when it seems they may have hindered the importance of successful doctor-patient relationships. Doctors are short on time and have many patients which can compromise their relationship with each of their patients. This combined with the stress of the holidays can lead patients to feel devalued and doctors may tend to appear uncaring and indifferent. 

Since the workflow dramatically increases during the busy winter months, delivering patient-focused and quality care is of utmost importance. It’s also a mechanism in which the patient’s involvement can be optimized. Medicine and technology always go hand-in-hand, and you probably know about all the latest advances in treatment, but there are more simplistic technologies that are also very powerful. For example, the PACS system is a very effective and user friendly program that allows healthcare workers to easily access patient information with a click of a mouse, thus reducing the time patients spend waiting. Efficiency combined with quality care is what patients want most from the healthcare providers. They need to feel valued and when they are treated expediently, it goes a long way to help them feel as such.

Doctors are supposed to be the ones who support their patients and are the rock they hold onto during troubled times. In all reality, it is a very complex matter and implementing techniques in the medical office that reinforces this common theory will help enormously. 

Flexibility

Patients and healthcare professionals need to be flexible. Rearranging schedules during the mad dash during the holidays may seem difficult to accomplish, but giving both physicians and patients more options within their personal schedules can help to keep stress levels to a minimum. 

Introducing a holiday schedule for office staff is also highly effective. Since there is an increase in patient visits, changing work schedules for the entire office can benefit everyone. An overworked staff only leads to frustration and a loss of patience for every person involved.

The holidays are a time to rejoice for what we have and think about what we want to achieve the following year. It doesn’t need to be riddled with anger and aggravation. Small changes can ensure that everyone has a happy holiday season.