How to Build Better Relationships with Your Patients

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How to Build Better Relationships with Your Patients

Relationships play such a pivotal role in our lives. They’re how we meet our spouses, how we get jobs and even how we build our support systems. They make the world go round. So how do you integrate building and maintaining relationships with the care you provide? You find the balance between the technical and the interpersonal communication. Here’s how you do it.

Manners Go a Long Way

 A cookie-cutter routine to approaching patients is no longer an option. Care and connection need to be personalized. Essentially, it needs to be genuine and authentic. In your interaction, you should make eye contact, be relatable, make the introductory small talk, and be welcoming. You should take an interest in what concerns the patient is expressing and address those concerns in a friendly, non-condescending manner.

Include Them

Providing patients the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process for their treatment is a great way to build trust and a relationship with patients. Having patients know what to expect demystifies their treatment plan, encourages them to raise questions, take initiative in their treatment and buy-in for completing their treatment. From the start, ask them what they want to achieve from their treatment and explain to them what they’re doing in their appointments and at home will help them reach that goal.

Follow Up

Don’t let the relationship building end at the first appointment. During consecutive appointments, ask them how they feel about their progress and where they think they still have room for improvement. Following up allows you to better understand how they’re feeling, where they’re at in their treatment and how you can adjust treatment to meet their goals. By doing this you’re focusing on their needs, including them in the treatment and helping provide a better outcome for the patient.

Sometimes as professionals we get so stuck in the technical aspect of our job that we forget we’re working with patients who may have never stepped foot in a clinic and their life has taken an unexpected turn. Taking an interpersonal approach to communication and treatment can pay off for you and the patient as you’ve earned their trust and built that sought-after rapport.