Making the Call That Makes A Difference: Pre-consultation Calls
In 2018, two Stanford researchers identified a growing “fracture” in doctor/patient relationships. Some reasons they hypothesized for the increasing disconnect included the slow movement of medical records to electronic repositories, biotechnical advances that made updating procedures a priority and heavier patient loads. What they found confirmed that physicians could no longer give patients as much face time as they would like; they proclaimed that this could lead to doctors losing sight of why they went into medicine in the first place. The idea of the loss of passion for healing in the hearts of men and women who spent so much of their lives serving others was disheartening.
What could be done?
The Answer is Simple, But the Solution is Not
Of course, the answer is to spend more time with patients. But how can physicians do that when the climate is not changing? The study offers five evidence-based practices that physicians can employ to develop stronger relationships with their patients. As a digital marketing agency specializing in elective procedures and aesthetics, Caledon Virtual was quick to act on the suggestions made by the Stanford researchers. First, we examined the problem and the five evidence-based solutions. We’d like to share the solutions and then explain how Caledon Virtual has found a solution to offer to physicians.
Five Best Practices to Build Doctor/Patient Relationships
Here are the suggestions made by the researchers:
- Prepare with intention. The research suggests that doctors should sit down and familiarize themselves with the patient’s medical history to enter the room with a solution.
- Listen completely and with intent. Active listening strategies include body language, proximity, eye contact, and acknowledging what the potential patient says with verbal and non-verbal acknowledgment.
- Agree on what matters most. Find out what your patient most desires and focus the face-to-face visit on that.
- Connect with the patient’s story. Understand the place where your patient is and where they want to be. Celebrate their small victories and encourage them when things may not be going so well.
- Explore emotional cues. This ties in directly with listening completely and attentively.
Our Solution… and a Why
Caledon Vritual took into account the evidence-based practices suggested and the need for more time with potential patients. We believe that all of this information can be collected before the initial consultation via a pre-screening phone call.
The call would be framed as a conversation and each evidence-based practice would be addressed. Once the call is completed, a pre-consultation portrait is created for the doctor to research and use in the initial consultation. It is all there in black and white: concerns, questions, desired outcomes. And the doctor can go indepth with the patient, talking and building a true doctor/patient partnership.
If you are interested in strengthening your patient relationships, contact Caledon Virtual and experience your potential.