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The benefits of good communication in doctor-patient relationships

A patient’s perception regarding the quality of a health care system is mainly perceived on the ability to have a good interaction between the healthcare clinician and the team. A doctor-patient relationship is the connection between a doctor and the patient often short term or long term. Effective communication in a doctor-patient relationship is essential to ensure that all parties are able to access services from the other party. A good connection between a patient and the doctor often makes the patient well meditated thus improving the health of the patient and patient self-management. Good communication should therefore start from either of the two parties and not from only one party (Mallia, 2012).

In the health care industry, doctor patient relationship is one of the major elements that help in the gathering, diagnosis and support given to a patient. The relationship is thus critical which helps patients stay with one organization for long enabling the doctor to have a closer follow up on the patient. The rapid increase in health care units across many countries has continued to raise concerns to most patients, medical practitioners as well as scholars. The rise in the units has resulted to the regulatory bodies being more concerned on the quality of health care provided to the patients (Karen, 2009). In the health care sector, the doctor should have a good and open relationship with the patient to enable the doctor get as much information as possible from the patient. The relationship should be cordial in a way that both parties are free with each other and they can access each other anytime when need be.

Good communication in the healthcare industry has many benefits which include some of the following. The doctor is able to achieve diagnostic accuracy when dealing with the patient. Most of the diagnosis arises from decisions made from past considerations on the history of a patient thus conducting an effective interview with a patient helps acquire all the necessary information leading to accuracy in diagnosis. According to the World Health Organization, patients are not always given the opportunity to explain their story most often due to interruptions by the doctor thus leading to a compromise on diagnostic accuracy (Mallia, 2012). When there are many interruptions, communication is not effective hence chances of a wrong diagnosis are high. Interrupting a patient deters the collection of useful information that can be used for accurate diagnosis.

Good and effective communication between the doctor and the patient helps regulate a patient’s emotions as well as facilitating the comprehension of medical information. Effective communication in the health care sector increases satisfaction with the doctor and patients are more willing to share additional sensitive information that could be used in the treatment of the patient. Good communication ensures safety of the patient because the relationship is confidential between the doctor and the patient thus a feeling of security by the patient. Past studies and research shows that patients with a good form of communication were safer with the doctor than those without effective forms of communication.

Effective communication improves the adherence of a patient to the doctor’s recommendation. In the treatment of a patient, one undergoes several stages which should all be adhered to so that proper results can be attained. Corresponding to a doctor’s behavior is important as it helps the patient follow keenly the instructions given by the doctor. Effective doctor-patient communication helps help by ensuring that the relationship is alive and both parties are up to date with each other. For example, according to a health survey by the Commonwealth Fund, 25% of patients do not adequately follow the doctor’s advice due to lack of a good communication channel (Karen, 2009).

Patient satisfaction is another benefit associated with good communication in any doctor-patient relationship. More often, having good communication helps patients avail the necessary information to the doctor and spends less time explaining the sickness. Communication helps the two parties perform their duties diligently and with an aim in mind which increases the satisfaction level of both the patient and the doctor. Once the patient is well treated, he/she feels more satisfied of the entire process which also satisfies the doctor due to the positive results of his work. Communication makes work easier in the doctor-patient relationship hence one feels more satisfied (Karen, 2009).

A good doctor-patient relationship with an effective form of communication helps in conflict management between the patient and the doctor or the health care facility. In some cases, conflicts may arise due to many factors like unmet expectations, poor service or negligence by either party. Having a good form of communication enables an easier way of conflict management as people can discuss and solve issues amicably.

Conclusion

An effective health care system requires a good doctor-patient relationship which must be backed up by good communication. Communication is essential in any aspect of health like diagnosis, treatment and advice thus making it a necessity. Both the doctor and the patient should aim at having a good doctor-patient relationship and always communicating effectively to help achieve the desired results.

 

Works cited

Karen, B. (2009). Communication in healthcare. Lang Publishers.

Mallia, P. (2012). The nature of a doctor patient relationship. Springer Publications.

About Tess Bryan

Tess Bryan is an influential Health & Travel blogger helping businesses worldwide to connect with their ideal audience and sharing great citizen journalism. Connect with her via Linkedin to share your story.

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