Why is good patient communication important?

Today, among the competencies that a healthcare professional must have, are those that have to do with comprehensive care and patient care.

These are essential when it comes to understanding what the patient has and, in this way, identifying what happens to him to offer him competent and adequate care , and provide him with correct treatment, establishing a relationship of trust with him or her and, therefore Therefore, the best forecast.

Ultimately, effective communication with the patient is key in the context of health care. However, it is not always easy to fulfill this intention. For this reason, we tell you what are the main problems that do not allow this to be possible and some strategies to overcome them.

Difficulties in communicating with the patient

Among the factors that hinder or prevent assertive communication with the patient, the following could be highlighted:

Protocols of medical and hospital centers: many health institutions establish a series of very rigid procedures that are mandatory for the personnel who work in them. Sometimes this situation limits their professional practice and makes clinical practice somewhat “less human”.

Tendency towards specialization and research: many times the desire to take and present an interesting clinical case means that the attention to the basic needs of the patient and the care that this person requires are relegated to the background.

Lack of staff (and time): to establish good communication with the patient and to have a cordiality, it is necessary to dedicate time and effort. The lack of personnel, together with a high volume of work and the number of patients to attend to, makes this not possible.

Inappropriate idea of ??comprehensive patient care: some health professionals understand that caring for a patient properly means performing all the relevant tests to find out what is happening, without taking into account or giving the importance of communicating and informing the patient and their families.

Lack of empathy: difficulties in putting oneself in the patient’s shoes, making an effort to understand that feeling of uncertainty and ignorance about what is happening to them and that correct communication and treatment can alleviate.

6 communication techniques with the patient

Next, we propose some actions to improve and increase the effectiveness of communication between Healthcare professionals and patients:

  1. Take care of verbal and body language , so that the patient is shown that he is an accessible, respectful and kind person.
  2. Transmit credibility and veracity, which will serve to dispel the fears and insecurities that the patient may have, that is, to reassure him.
  3. Prioritize the patient’s needs and attend to them in a calm and empathetic way . This can be of great help in establishing a closeness with the patient. And if all goes well, it will also contribute to making communication much more fluid and thus knowing better what happens to this person, feels and / or thinks.
  4. Give physical and emotional support to the patient , offer help whenever possible and pay attention to what this person may say or express (pain, emotions, etc.).
  5. Work with simplicity and humility , be open or open to dialogue. It is a priority that the patient raises his doubts about what is happening to him and the treatment that is going to be carried out, and that an understandable, clear and concise language is used to resolve them. It is not good to take things for granted.
  6. Treat each patient in a personalized way , for example, calling them by name, respecting their privacy and taking their opinion into account. All of this will increase your level of confidence and satisfaction.