Physician-patient rapport forms the core of ethical principles of medicine. It can be positive or negative based on how a physician tends to a patient’s medical needs through check-ups, diagnosis, and treatment. The ultimate goal of physician-patient rapport is to improve medical care and patient outcomes. However, sometimes the experience can be bitter.
With the patient-physician rapport growing to be of extreme importance, it is vital to understand the positive impact of the physician-patient relationship on the reputation of the medical practice.
Provides a Better Understanding of a Patient’s Condition
Effective communication is a vital part of a healthy physician-patient rapport. Physicians can achieve this by being more friendly, making more eye contact, and paying close attention to the patient’s emotions. A study conducted by the Harvard Medical School found that an excellent physician-patient rapport can enhance patient outcomes.
Open communication enables physicians to gain patients’ trust. When a patient trusts his/her physician, they are more likely to disclose their medical history and other relevant information. Furthermore, it encourages people to talk to their physician about symptoms they might otherwise not want to disclose, which is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
In some cases, when physicians fail to put their patients at ease, they might find it challenging to understand the diagnosis, which leads them to miss out on important information. Hence, trust and communication are quite crucial in improving patient outcomes.
Effective Monitoring of Patients’ Progress or Otherwise
After the initial diagnosis and treatment, physicians should constantly follow up on their patients’ recovery. This is vital to reduce the risk of recurrence and reassure the patients that their health is in good hands.
The medical revenue cycle now includes remote patient monitoring through online platforms. Unfortunately, this can hinder the establishment of a good physician-patient rapport to a certain extent.
For instance, some patients may not have broadband access or might not know how to use the latest technology. In such cases, it is essential for physicians to make adjustments accordingly. For example, during online consultations, it is important that they wear a trusted outfit rather than be in their pajamas which can look unprofessional.
Promotes Placebo Effect
Placebo forms a crucial part of all therapeutic environments and plays a significant role in the effectiveness of treatment. Essentially, a placebo is any treatment ( a drug, shot, or sugar pill) that doesn’t have any active properties yet creates a healing perception. Several studies have found a placebo to be more effective in people than active treatment. The primary reason for its effectiveness is the patient’s belief that the treatment could change the course of their illness.
Nevertheless, a positive physician-patient relationship also plays a huge role in the effectiveness of the placebo treatment. When a physician communicates with the patient properly and addresses their concerns, they are more likely to trust the physician. So when the doctor prescribes a specific treatment, even if it is inactive, the patient believes that it could cure their disease, which leads to the higher efficiency of the treatment.
Helps Patients Deal with Emotional and Psychological Stress
A good physician-patient relationship enables patients to place their trust in their doctors. Meaning the doctors act as a source with whom the patients can share all their worries and concerns. This is especially important for psychosomatic patients who are constantly haunted by their thoughts but fail to share them with people.
Provides Succor for Terminally Ill Patients
Terminally ill patients need reassurance and should be treated with compassion. In fact, a scary diagnosis might induce psychiatric symptoms in such patients, in which case physicians should try their best to retain the patient’s hope.
This can be achieved by walking them to a counselor’s office if they need mental help or offering them adequate information regarding the disease and treatment. It is important to remember that simple gestures can help patients feel a lot better, reduce their stress levels, and face their fears.
Even patients without chronic illnesses might need periodic reassurance that they can control their disease. They must be told they are doing okay on treatment and will get better soon. Failure to do so can lead to drastic consequences.
Positive Physician-Patient Rapport For Better Health Outcomes
When the relationship between a physician and patient is built on trust, communication, and competence, there are higher chances of treatment adherence. Add satisfactory patient care to this, and you have the perfect formula for a good medical practice reputation.
At the end of the day, a healthcare facility is only as good as the physicians who work there. So, if physicians don’t treat their patients well, it can directly affect the medical practice’s reputation.