Doctor-Patient Communication – the key to success and the struggle to succeed.
“The huge rise in complaints in relation to communication and a lack of respect are of particular concern. Patients are not receiving the compassion, dignity and respect which they deserve.”
In this article we’ll discuss the doctor-patient communications gap as a generic problem. We will briefly examine the root cause of the problem and conclude by proposing a light-weight easy-to-use Web service for sharing and private messaging with patients and physicians as a way to ameliorate the problem.
Poor patient-doctor communications as a generic problem
What is the nature of poor doctor-patient communications?
Some patients say that their doctors need to polish their communication skills; although they are excellent diagnosticians.
Many patients also complain that their doctors don’t explain things in terms patients can understand. Poor communications between doctors/nurses and their patients can come at a high cost, creating misunderstandings that can lead to malpractice suits.
In a hospital setting, we often hear that patients feel that they are not getting any useful information while the medical staff feel that they have taken the time to communicate all the data that the patients and their families need in order to understand and comply with the treatment plan.
The question is why some doctors find it hard to communicate properly and share things with their patients in a desired manner while other doctors succeed in communicating the therapeutic plan to the patient in a manner that the patient understands.
Poor physician-patient communications is rooted in cognitive and cultural gaps
Patients are the experts at their personal feelings and experiences. Physicians are the experts in the medical science. Cultural and language differences and preconceived notions about the doctors role only contribute to the cognitive gap between emotion and science.
Besides the cultural and cognitive gaps, high patient volume and work overload is another root contributor to poor doctor patient communications. This generally happens in poor countries. In the third world, working over capacity is one of the biggest barriers to effective communication. Hospitals, doctors and nurses are forced to admit more and more patients and are compelled to handle more than they can manage. Under such circumstances, health professionals cannot devote enough time to their patients let alone sit down with them in a quiet corner and explain the therapeutic plan.
Sharing and private messaging with patients and doctors helps bridge the gaps
The solutions are out there.
In this always-on age of mobile medical devices and cloud services, both healthcare professionals and the patients have immediate access to the latest solutions that can help them communicate more effectively and efficiently. There are private social networks for healthcare that have been exclusively developed for sharing and private messaging with doctors, nurses and patients, enabling doctors and patients to interact and share where and whenever they need the interaction.
Neither the patient nor the physician need to be tied down to a proprietary healthcare provider portal.
Secure Web-based sharing and private messaging services improve the ways doctors and nurses communicate with their patients. This helps them improve the quality of service and lower operational costs, and enables doctors to treat more patients in less time and with less stress.
- Pathcare is effective and easy to use. The reliable private messaging and content sharing apps are simple, easy-to-use and save you time.
- Pathcare private messaging with doctors and patients enables 1-click communications and sharing of guidance and information with a single patient or groups of patients or even the entire practice of the physician.
- Pathcare is controlled networking where only the physician can create groups and distribute guidance. This eliminates the phenomenon of patients relying on other patients for medical guidance which often leads to post-hoc error and mistreatment.
Poor patient-doctor communications has a number of causes and it is rooted in both cultural, language and cognitive differences. Using a neutral medium such as online sharing and private messaging with patients and doctors helps bridge the gaps we discussed.
We’d love to hear what you think – please comment.