Teamwork in Connecting With Your Patients

429755_power As busy as a physician’s schedule may be their patients expect that they make a real connection with them when they have an appointment.  This is very understandable and reasonable, but often times does not happen. If we just take a moment and think what it must be like for the physician who sees between 40-60 patients a day and the expectation is that they meet each person’s needs, can this be possible?  If a physician sees 40 patients in 8 hours which is 480 minutes he would be able to spend 12 minutes per patient face-to-face time, and they need to take care of all of the patients current issues.  It is pretty amazing that this is the expectation and during this short time the physician needs to listen to the patient, examine them, give a diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis.  Physicians must be superhuman to be able to do this, don’t you think?  To give good patient care requires a team effort, starting from the phone call when the patient schedules their appointment.  Each person in the office who has contact with patients need to be clear in their communication and be able to understand what the patient’s needs are. Once the physician sees the patient they need to be able to communicate to the patient what the their problem is and connect with them on their treatment plan.  Not only does the physician need to be able to connect with the patient letting them know what they want the patient to do, but the medical staff also need to be able to explain the importance of follow-up and have knowledge of the patient’s treatment plan.  It requires this team effort in the medical office to communicate to the patient the importance of their care and continued treatment, especially today when there are many financial issues for patients with bigger co-payments and higher deductibles.  Many patients are letting their financial obligations with their insurance companies dictated the necessary care they may need in order to have a healthy, active life.  Understanding of these issues by the medical staff is vitally important not only so they can empathize with the patient regarding these issues,  but also so they understand how these issues can have a great effect on the medical practice itself.  Make sure your office has current information regarding the health plans that are accepted in the office and know where to go if they have questions so that they can connect with the patient’s needs and confirm with them when they have questions regarding treatment plans and financial obligations.  Stay connected, your patients will appreciate that you do.

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