The Key to a Successful Relationship Between Primary Care Physician and Patient: Communication

Good communication is a great necessity for doctor-patient relationship, as it is vital in the delivery of high-quality health care. Nowadays, many barriers are affecting the communication between doctor and patient, and this includes substantial stress experienced by doctors. This can be due to different factors like dealing with increasingly difficult regulations and massive patient load. So, primary care physicians may not have enough time to be attentive to the needs of their patients as they would like to be.

The Importance of Doctor-Patient Communication

To be a great doctor, you need effective communication skills in addition to knowledge and technical skills. Effective doctor-patient communication has long been confirmed to help deliver better health care. This is vital, and it has several impacts on the outcome of patient’s treatment. To begin with, physicians need to be able to make sure that the patient understands his condition and the treatments to be received. Doctors also need to communicate on the kind of treatment given, possible complications, as well as alternative treatments.

Improved health, emotional and functional status

In addition to treatment, effective communication has a positive impact on the mental health, tolerance, power, psychology, and quality of life of the patient.

Improved health care outcomes

Several studies have shown that improvement in doctors’ communication skills has helped improve the healthcare outcome of patients. It has also been confirmed that improved communication has helped empower patients for better recovery after surgery.

Improved patient satisfaction

When local family doctors have very good communication skills, patient’s satisfaction towards the medical services tends to grow. This is one of the reasons why patients often choose to visit one of our four medical centers for family practice in North Jersey. There is an improvement in the level of satisfaction of patients when doctors have a better understanding and recognition of their ailment, enabling them to provide effective treatment.

Establishing a doctor-patient relationship

Ever since Hippocrates and his famous oath, the doctor-patient relationship has been regarded as one of the most sacred partnerships. The main core of the medical profession depends on the faith and trust of the patient in the doctor. One important factor when establishing a doctor-patient relationship is proper communication. Patients may have a loss of faith and trust in a doctor when there is improper communication among them.

Unfortunately, this has been reported to happen sometimes, with the treating physician having the tendency to talk down to patients, from a position of superiority. With the advent of internet, patients tend to be more informed (sometimes misinformed), which can lead to the general practitioner feeling undermined and reacting improperly. After all, he has the expertise to back his claims, while patients may be inclined to discard that in favor of dodgy diagnostics and treatments found on Google. A doctor with the right communication skills will know how to handle these situations with tact, trying not to immediately dismiss the patient’s opinions about their condition.

Improved compliance with the treatment

When it comes to prescribed medical interventions, low compliance is a vital problem in medical practice. This is also related to substantial medical cost as well as increased hospital admissions. It has been shown that effective communication helps to improve patient’s compliance with the doctor’s advice.

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